Is Hemp a Sustainable Energy Resource?
Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Sustainable Chemical and Environmental Engineering 2022
Ērika Teirumnieka, Nidhiben Arvindbhai Patel, Krista Laktuka, Ivars Veidenbergs, Dagnija Blumberga

Given the world's growing demand for energy from renewable sources and more ambitious climate targets, biomass for energy is seen as a possible solution. There is increasing competition for wood, with a preference for its use in products and materials with higher added value and a substitute for fossil resources. The availability of energy wood is becoming limited and alternative sources of solid biofuels for energy use are being sought. Industrial hemp is considered as an alternative because it is fast-growing and low demanding in terms of cultivation. A way to optimise the solid biomass fuel value chain is to pelletise or briquetting the feedstock. Pellets have advantages such as high energy density, homogeneous physical properties, easy handling and efficient transport. During the study, two methodologies are used: multicriteria analysis (MCA) and life cycle analysis (LCA) of hemp for energy applications. MCA is implemented for 10 products from hemp. LCA was carried out and compared with the characteristics of other fuels. The life cycle analysis showed that the use of hemp for energy is not sustainable, although the current geopolitical situation and the increase in energy prices seem to suggest otherwise. Nonetheless, the authors suggest that this apparent benefit of using hemp for energy will be short-lived and not beneficial in the long term, as it is more environmentally damaging than other energy sources such as peat as a fossil fuel or wood.

agrofuel; hemp pellets; ash; ash melting; multicriteria analysis; life cycle analysis

Teirumnieka, Ē., Patel, N., Laktuka, K., Veidenbergs, I., Blumberga, D. Is Hemp a Sustainable Energy Resource?. In: Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Sustainable Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Greece, Rethymno, 31 Aug-4 Sep., 2022. Rethymno: Design of Environmental Processes Laboratory School of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Crete, Greece, 2022, pp.109-110. ISBN 978-618-86417-0-9.

Publication language
English (en)
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