Monday, July 20, 2015

"Henry Fords Hemp Car in 1941"


"Henry Ford back in 1941 produced a car with body panels made from hemp, and biodegradable  internal parts made from hemp plastic. In the video to the right you can see footage of this video, how a sledge hammer could be used on the panels and not to leave a mark. The panels were said to be lighter than steel and 10 times stronger. Henry Ford probably developed the car as a response to the US governments encouragement to grow hemp in their 'Hemp For Victory' campaign. What Henry Ford was not aware of is that after the war had finished the US government would then ban hemp again, destroying any possibility that the hemp car could reach the mass market. This was not the first time Henry Fords efforts to produce 'green' cars was halted. The Model T was designed to run on ethanol produced from agricultural materials, in fact at one point 25% of the fuel market for the car was provided for by ethanol. However prohibition become law (a bill which was funded by John D. Rockefeller 'Standard Oil'). This made fuel ethanol also illegal. Henry Ford continued to produce cars which could run on ethanol for many more years, however eventually gave up. One year after the last Ford was produced which could run on ethanol, prohibition ended. Now the reasons I like to share this information is to demonstrate how the uses of Hemp have been proven many times, yet today we still cannot fully utilize this crop. Miscanthus, Switchgrass and other biomass energy crops all produce burnable fuel pellets, but they all fall short of hemp on a sustainability basis and a fuel quality basis. In our small scale pellet plants we can process whole hemp or the shiv. Shiv is the woody core of the plant which is left over after the fibers have been removed for other products. The material is reduced in size through a hammer mill and then these particles are metered into the pellet press. Under high heat and pressure in the pellet mill a hemp pellet is formed."

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