Open Source Development

Industrial Hemp as an Alternative Crop in North Dakota - Study of the Markets, Profitability, Processing, Agronomics and History

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 07/02/2010 - 01:02.

Figure 4. Hemp Products Flowchart. Processing to End Product Groups.

Industrial Hemp as an Alternative Crop in North Dakota - A White Paper Study of the Markets, Profitability, Processing, Agronomics and History
David G. Kraenzel, Tim Petry, Bill Nelson, Marshall J. Anderson, Dustin Mathern, Robert Todd
The Institute for Natural Resources and Economic Development (INRED) - North Dakota State University
Agricultural Economics Report No. 402 - July 23, 1998

Abstract: This report is in response to a national and state interest in the potential benefits of industrial hemp as an alternative crop. Industrial hemp has many uses which can be categorized into nine submarkets. North Dakota may have a comparative advantage in producing industrial hemp seed for oil because of the multi-oil processing facility in Carrington (AgGrow Oils) and the established infrastructure. Industrial hemp is currently legally produced in 22 countries with Canada being the closest and is recognized as a legal and legitimate crop in both the NAFTA and GATT agreements. The main obstacles for legalization of industrial hemp appear to be 1) law enforcement officials are concerned about the regulation, 2) no domestic facilities currently exist to process hemp stalks, although Canada will have such facilities shortly, 3) there is a lack of current production and processing technology, and 4) lack of research on the production potential and quality aspects of the crop. Since very little is known about the potential yield and quality of industrial hemp fiber and seed that would be produced in North Dakota, it is recommended that controlled experimental production and processing be allowed. Necessary baseline production, processing, and marketing data could be collected and analyzed, and law enforcement concerns could also be addressed.

When "Benefits of Biomass Power Questioned", point to "Map 7.1: Potential Energy Distribution among Ohio Counties (in Billions)"

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 07/01/2010 - 22:43.

Map 7.1: Potential Energy Distribution among Ohio Counties (in Billions)

Joe Koncelik's Ohio Environmental Law Blog recently reported "Benefits of Biomass Power Questioned - Implications for Ohio", about a renewable fuels permitting issue that has surfaced with a FirstEnergy coal powerplant being converted to biomass, which offers great insight on the development and future of our biomass industry, and links to valuable source material for those considering the economic and environmental future of energy in Ohio, America and worldwide. In this excellent posting, Koncelik points out, "

Ohio's best hope for reducing its overwhelming dependence on coal for electricity generation is  biomass.  While wind and solar have significant benefits, it is unquestioned that current technology does not allow these renewable sources to be forms of base-load power generation. 

Biomass does have that potential in Ohio, as is evidenced by the recent announcements of the conversion of 312-megawatt First Energy's Burger coal-fired power plant to biomass generation.  Now that proposal is meeting opposition by environmental groups. As reported in Biomass Magazine."

In fact, environmentalists and regulators are demanding that FirstEnergy identify what biomass they intend to use from where to power their proposed-to-be "renewable" fuel plant - that is good economics and environmentalism. The dynamics of the Burger plant application are interesting and important for the future of the biomass sector in Ohio - while Ohio has a bright biomass renaissance ahead, we are still in the dark ages of its development.

Optimising Harvesting and Storage Systems for Energy Crops in The Netherlands

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 06/28/2010 - 02:46.

Optimising Harvesting and Storage Systems for Energy Crops in The Netherlands.
Dr.Ir.Willem.Huisman - Wageningen University, Netherlands, Dept. Agrotechnology and Food Science, Farm Technology Group.

Introduction

Biomass crops for energy production can be produced in many ways. The choice of the best harvest and storage methods is defined by many conditions like: requirements of the applied fuel conversion technology, requirements as defined by co-firing, local climate, available technology, transport infrastructure, cost levels of the various inputs, available subsidies. The selection criteria can be: minimal costs or energy input, maximum financial or environmental profit or maximum energy output. The selection process should be based on optimisation of the whole chain, including pre-processing, rather than on single operations. A simulation model is being built to support the selection of the optimal production chain.

In this paper the farm operations of harvest and subsequent drying, storage and pre-treatment will be presented in order to discuss the aspects related to the optimisation of bio-energy chains from the farm to the gate of the conversion plant.

The energy crops under consideration

This paper will deal with fibre crops for direct combustion or gasification. We consider the perennial grasses: miscanthus, reed canary grass and switchgrass, the short rotation woody crop: willow and the annual crop: hemp. The advantage of an annual crop is that after the decision to produce is taken, in just one season the required biomass can be produced.

When Capitalism Meets Cannabis - New York Times - June 25, 2010

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sun, 06/27/2010 - 21:59.

Benjamin Rasmussen for The New York Times
At the Farmacy in Boulder, Colo., medical marijuana is sold in a boutiquelike atmosphere.
State law lets sellers profit as much as they can, as long as they stay within a labyrinth of rules.

When Capitalism Meets Cannabis

By DAVID SEGAL - Published: June 25, 2010 

BOULDER, Colo.

ANYONE who thinks it would be easy to get rich selling marijuana in a state where it’s legal should spend an hour with Ravi Respeto, manager of the Farmacy, an upscale dispensary here that offers Strawberry Haze, Hawaiian Skunk and other strains of Cannabis sativa at up to $16 a gram.

She will harsh your mellow.

“No M.B.A. program could have prepared me for this experience,” she says, wearing a cream-colored smock made of hemp. “People have this misconception that you just jump into it and start making money hand over fist, and that is not the case.”

Since this place opened in January, it’s been one nerve-fraying problem after another. Pot growers, used to cash-only transactions, are shocked to be paid with checks and asked for receipts. And there are a lot of unhappy surprises, like one not long ago when the Farmacy learned that its line of pot-infused beverages could not be sold nearby in Denver. Officials there had decided that any marijuana-tinged consumables had to be produced in a kitchen in the city.

Medical Marijuana Bill Takes Root in Ohio - State Sen. Bill Seitz supports concept, but not this bill

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 06/21/2010 - 17:53.

Medical Marijuana Bill Takes Root in Ohio - State Sen. Bill Seitz supports concept, but not this bill

By Stephen Carter-Novotni

Depending on how you read the tea leaves, support for some sort of marijuana legalization might be at an all-time high among Americans.

The results of an Associated Press/CNBC poll released in April showed 55 percent of Americans opposed an end to prohibition. But when those polled were asked to compare the hypothetical regulation of marijuana to that of alcohol, 56 percent said marijuana regulation should be the same or less strict than the regulation of alcohol.

In Ohio, Democrat State Rep. Kenny Yuko of Richmond Heights, a Cleveland suburb, recently introduced House Bill 478, which would legalize the use, growth and dispensing of medical marijuana for persons suffering from debilitating conditions including cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis and Crohn's disease.

“This is a very easy remedy for therapeutic relief,” Yuko says.

Tip of the Hat and Props to PD's Michael McIntyre - First Reporter to Recognize "A new cash crop" for Ohio

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 06/21/2010 - 15:41.

Tip of the Hat and Props to the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Michael McIntyre, and his Tipoff column today - First Reporter to Recognize "A new cash crop" for Ohio.

I look forward to discussing this initiative in detail with Michael and others in the media and public, as it is important to educate the community on the economic benefits we will receive from "Growing a Bright Green NEO PAC for Legalization & Commercialization of Cannabis Crops, Products & Services".

Here is Michael McIntyre's correct and intelligent impression of our initiative to make Northeast Ohio the Open Source Capital of the Brightest Greenest State of Earth:

A new cash crop

Some Northeast Ohio boosters are pushing for a new product to revive the local economy: Marijuana. And, no, stoners, they're not talking about boosting sales of Doritos.

Norm Roulet of the RealNEO blog announced last week that a political action committee, Real Green NEO PAC, was formed to push for a November ballot issue for "enlightened legalization of cannabis crops."

Happy B Day realNEO Evelyn

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 06/21/2010 - 01:00.

 

It is safe to say the #1 financial and empowering supporter of realNEO is and has always been my wife, Evelyn Kiefer Roulet. A founding member of realNEO (member #7),  who has consistently posted some of the most interesting and globally appreciated content, she administers the Putnam Sculpture Colledction at Case (beautifully presented in Drupal), conducts art appraisals, consults in art history - maintains the brightest greenest home and garden in town - all to significantly support our large family so I may focus on realNEO and other regional and global initiatives. She has allowed this flower to grow.

How Biomass Energy Works - From the Union of Concerned Scientists

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 06/17/2010 - 14:28.

How Biomass Energy Works - From the Union of Concerned Scientists

To many people, the most familiar forms of renewable energy are the wind and the sun. But biomass (plant material and animal waste) supplies almost 15 times as much energy in the United States as wind and solar power combined—and has the potential to supply much more.

There are a wide variety of biomass energy resources, including tree and grass crops and forestry, agricultural, and urban wastes. It is the oldest source of renewable energy known to humans, used since our ancestors learned the secret of fire.

Biomass is a renewable energy source because the energy it contains comes from the sun. Through the process of photosynthesis, chlorophyll in plants captures the sun's energy by converting carbon dioxide from the air and water from the ground into carbohydrates, complex compounds composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. When these carbohydrates are burned, they turn back into carbon dioxide and water and release the sun's energy they contain. In this way, biomass functions as a sort of natural battery for storing solar energy. As long as biomass is produced sustainably—with only as much used as is grown—the battery will last indefinitely.

"Importing coal to produce electricity is a drain on Ohio's economy"

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 06/17/2010 - 11:34.

The June 15, 2010, Toledo Blade published an important editorial titled To curb Ohio's costly coal bill, fix U.S. energy policy, by Jeff Deyette, assistant director of energy research and analysis in the Union of Concerned Scientists' climate and energy program, and Alan Frasz, vice president of Dovetail Solar and Wind in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, that leads-off with an important observation most residents of Ohio find hard to believe... "When you turn on your coffee pot in the morning, the power likely comes from coal, which generates 85 percent of the electricity in Ohio. According to a new report, three-quarters of that coal comes from elsewhere".  Yes, Ohio is ADDICTED to dirty, expensive, environmentally destructive imported coal - Ohio electricity ratepayers spent $1.5+ billion in just 2008 on imported coal - Ohio is the 5th biggest imported coal junkie in America, and we have the pollution to prove it.

As the authors of this informative editorial point out:

Importing coal to produce electricity is a drain on Ohio's economy. Ratepayer dollars are diverted out of state, instead of being spent locally on renewable-energy projects and energy-efficiency measures that can provide the same electricity service while directly benefiting residents and creating jobs.

The report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, "Burning Coal, Burning Cash," ranks states that are net importers of domestic and foreign coal. Ohio is one of 38 states that depend on imported coal. The state spent $1.5 billion on net coal imports in 2008, making it the fifth most dependent state.

First Energy's Bay Shore plant in Oregon imported all of its coal, shelling out $64 million mostly to Wyoming. Most domestic coal comes from Wyoming, West Virginia, and Kentucky. Some states import coal from overseas, as far away as Colombia and Indonesia.

It doesn't have to be that way. Ohio has significant wind, biomass, and solar-power resources, and we've only started tapping into that potential. 

This is for Nicole and for all of our kids – and theirs to come.

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 06/16/2010 - 15:55.


Dear Friend,

Two days on the Louisiana Gulf Coast last week changed me in profound and gut wrenching ways.

My throat burned and my head foggy and dizzy from the Gulf's toxic fumes, I returned home and shared my pictures and my flip-camera video with my wife, Fran, and 13-year-old daughter, Nicole.

The only thing wrong with Cleveland, he says, is the attitude of some of its residents - "Hot", isn't that!

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 06/16/2010 - 12:32.

On June 3, 2010, I reported on realNEO "our air around Northeast Ohio has been unhealthy by most standards every day for the past week, and is never nearly healthy enough" and asked "why the hell was air quality in Cleveland and so Northeast Ohio, the region, the state and the world so "UNHEALTHY" last night, while we slept, and why is it so unhealthy RIGHT NOW - and HOW UNHEALTHY really, where, as indicated above?"

The diagrams above and below are actually from today - June 16, 2010 - two weeks later. In checking the same pollution monitoring service of NOACA to see current pollution conditions, I find our regional pollution control house of cards has completely collapsed, with NOACA "near real time" pollution monitoring systems (which should be data driven and perfect) still reporting we had "SEVERE" levels of MP2.5 pollution in Northeast Ohio over the past 24 hours (see line and rose charts at bottom of diagram below) - for many hours reading over 300, leading up to these charts - yet NOACA posting an "OFFICIAL" explanation that "NOTICE:  The PM2.5 monitors are experiencing difficulty this week. Data shown is incorrect. Local air agencies are working with the monitors. In addition, high humidity is being reflected. We appreciate your patience."

"Cannabis has been cultivated in nearly every province and climatic zone in China from ancient times to the present"

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 06/16/2010 - 10:30.

December 29, 2009 - China executed a British citizen, Akmal Shaikh, caught smuggling heroin

When United States leaders speak of developing our "homeland security" by drilling and stripmining our way to "energy independence", I must question their scientific integrity and intellectual competency.

It is well understood worldwide that our Federal government has made impossible the development of an industrial hemp economy in America, which offers citizens a greater degree of energy independence here, because past corporate tycoons were able to force corrupt and ignorant politicians to incorrectly associated "hemp" with "marijuana", and "marijuana" has incorrectly been branded as dangerous and addictive by many ignorant and corrupt American scientists, and the corporate tycoons who pay their salaries.

Long story short, because of the ignorant 1936 low-grade American exploitation film called "Reefer Madness", the tuly mad leadership of America has long outlawed developing industrial hemp resources, intellectual property, and technologies in America.

Video of the Day: Middlebury College Biomass Gasification Plant - A Milestone Toward Carbon Neutrality

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 06/14/2010 - 15:45.

A short virtual tour of Middlebury College's biomass plant, which opened in January 2009.

In exploring alternative fuel sources for the many coal burning powerplants in Ohio, biomass is an obvious alternative. Our bright green proposal is to make hemp biomass the center of a bright new economy in this state. Below is how one great university has used wood biomass (as UNC plans) to move to carbon neutrality and the forefront of bright, green college leadership. But, they don't use hemp...  no university does, yet...

From the Middlebury College website, about their biomass initiative:

A Milestone Toward Carbon Neutrality

Our biomass gasification plant represents eight years of creative collaboration among Middlebury students, faculty, staff, and trustees. It will

  • cut Middlebury’s carbon dioxide output by 40 percent,
  • reduce our use of fuel oil by 50 percent,
  • stimulate a local, renewable energy economy.

Question of the Day: What is the environmental harm of all the demolitions in Northeast Ohio?

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 06/09/2010 - 22:06.

9/11 awoke the world to the harm caused by toxic air pollution releases caused by the demolition of buildings, as the disintegration of the World Trade Center buildings "shot pulverized asbestos, lead, concrete, glass, and other debris into the air throughout lower Manhattan". Since 9/11, the city of Cleveland has enhanced its demolition policy to require watering down buildings being demolished, to prevent the spread of hazardous particulate matter like lead dust into the air... at least that is my understanding from discussions of the Greater Cleveland Lead Advisory Council.

As I now live in an area of Northeast Ohio being substantially demolished - ground zero from George Bush's economic terrorism against urban Americans - the bulldozers have surrounded my home and are pulverizing the neighborhood at a feverish pitch, reimagining Cleveland into a toxic landfill, and I now wonder how formal is demolition policy in Northeast Ohio - is it applied well, and is it enforced, how, and by who?

Identifiable effects on public health which may be expected from the presence of a pollutant in ambient air, e.g. Heart Attacks

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 06/07/2010 - 12:00.

As a result of old science, politics and industry dominating energy, health and environmental planning and development of Cleveland, Northeast Ohio, Ohio and America, citizens here must confront the realities of too much pollution in our air today, with certainty of growing air pollution worldwide in the years ahead. As such, the United States Environmental Protection Agency's 2009 Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter finds our pollution causes cardiovascular and respiratory problems and death... topping a long list of cumulative harm pollution causes people and society. Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter forms the scientific foundation for the review of the primary (health-based) and secondary (welfare-based) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM) in America, and "accurately reflects “the latest scientific knowledge useful in indicating the kind and extent of identifiable effects on public health which may be expected from the presence of [a] pollutant in ambient air”".

As I've long written on realNEO, Northeast Ohio has a pollution crisis and does a poor job or monitoring our pollution, putting citizens' lives in danger. How much in danger is the subject of this lengthy EPA analysis. In short, you are certainly being harmed greatly by the high levels of PM clearly released into the air in Northeast Ohio, especially near major roadways and coal burning facilities that are source points, like Mittal and MCCO. For example: "Epidemiologic studies that examined the effect of PM 2.5 on cardiovascular emergency department (ED) visits and hospital admissions reported consistent positive associations (predominantly for ischemic heart disease [IHD] and congestive heart failure [CHF]), with the majority of studies reporting increases ranging from 0.5 to 3.4% per 10 μg/m3 increase in PM 2.5".

Assessment of Power Plants That Meet Proposed Greenhouse Gas Emission Performance Standards - Final Report - 4/22/2010

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Fri, 06/04/2010 - 08:00.

The chart above presents some of the most important data in the world for citizens to understand about the future physical and economic health and well being of all people on Earth, and for all life on Earth - the Total Levelized Costs of Electricity including TS&M shown in Exhibit ES-11 is the cost breakdown from the ASSESSMENT OF POWER PLANTS THAT MEET PROPOSED GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSION PERFORMANCE STANDARDS - November 5, 2009 - REVISED 4/22/2010 that demonstrates that all the technologies available and in immediate development to burn coal to generate utility scale power at the emissions standards set for California are more expensive than generating electricity by wind - significantly more expensive. Solar has better economic value than coal as well.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) just conducted a comparison of the relative impacts of various financial, technological, and wind resource variables on the LCOE from utility-scale wind projects and found a base case range of $54-74/MWh.

IP Can Support Biodiversity - WIPO Member States Advance Work On Traditional Knowledge, Folklore And Genetic Resources

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 06/01/2010 - 20:08.

Geneva, May 21, 2010 - PR/2010/643

On the occasion of the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) on May 22, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry underlined the Organization’s commitment to ensuring that the intellectual property (IP) system plays a positive role in safeguarding biodiversity, the sustainable use of its components and the sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources. 

WIPO is an active participant in international discussions relating to the Convention on Biological Diversity. WIPO’s program on traditional knowledge, genetic resources and traditional cultural expressions aims to empower states and indigenous and local communities to negotiate a fair share of benefits derived from the exploitation of biodiversity and associated traditional knowledge.  Upon request from member states, WIPO undertakes a wide range of capacity-strengthening activities to support this.

WIPO Director General Highlights Importance of Intellectual Property for Innovation and Technology Transfer

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 06/01/2010 - 19:23.

Geneva, May 10, 2010 - PR/2010/640

The critical role of intellectual property as a tool for enabling innovation, the practical transfer of technology and industrial competitiveness were the focus of the remarks of WIPO Director General Francis Gurry to a key meeting of member states of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in Vienna today. 

Mr. Gurry said that the intellectual property system played a key role in facilitating technology transfer by incentivizing investment in innovation, providing a framework for trading intellectual assets, and by establishing market order through marks and brands. He noted that the innovation landscape was “the subject of rapid and radical change” pointing to the intensification of investment in knowledge creation which had more than doubled in the past 15 years rising to some 1.1. trillion US dollars in 2009. 
 
The Director General also highlighted the rapidly changing geography of technology production, noting that China had become the third largest investor in research and development. He highlighted, in particular, the experiences of Japan, the Republic of Korea and China which have experienced sustained growth in international patent applications. In 1994, these countries together accounted for 7.6% of international patent applications filed under WIPO’s Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) rising, fifteen years later, in 2009 to 29.2%.

Should NEO Citizens Be Concerned About Lead Poisoning From Piston Engine Airplanes Flying From Our Regional Airports?

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Tue, 06/01/2010 - 17:23.

HAPPY HOLIDAY REALNEO

Submitted by Keith Winston on Mon, 05/31/2010 - 09:01.

                      Happy Holiday everyone on REALNEO and please drive safe and drive for others watch the children,and eat plenty of food.       BE BLESSED

Air Quality Advisory in NE Ohio - Thursday, May 27, 2010 Only

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 05/27/2010 - 10:46.
05/27/2010 - 00:00
05/27/2010 - 23:59
Etc/GMT-4

Northeast Ohio - Today's high temperatures and lack of wind may result in exceedances today for both ground-level ozone and fine particles.  An Air Quality Advisory is in effect for today, May 27, only.  Fine particle concentrations will be highest in urban areas, while ozone may be more widespread.

Location

Northeast Ohio
United States