Patriot Bioenergy looks to hemp

By EPM Staff | January 16, 2013

Patriot Bioenergy Corp. sees value in industrial hemp as a possible feedstock for cellulosic biofuel production and for cofiring with coal in power plants. The company has joined the Kentucky Hemp Growers Association and is exploring the possibility of growing the crop on post-mining reclamation and marginal lands in Kentucky. The goal is to complete laboratory testing and issue a report by February.

Hemp can yield a large amount of biomass on a per-acre basis, making it an attractive biomass crop. Although a few states have registered farmers to grow industrial hemp, its cultivation is currently banned on the federal level. Efforts are underway to change that. Patriot Bioenergy is interested in growing the crop, in part, because it fits into its energy park concept.

Patriot Bioenergy is also planning to establish a nonprofit energy/sugar beet growers cooperative in the Cumberland Valley Area Development District region of Kentucky.