ENERGY CRISIS: Ford And Diesel Never Intended Cars To Use Gasoline
When Henry Ford told a New York Times reporter that ethyl alcohol was "the fuel of the future" in 1925, he was expressing an opinion that was widely shared in the automotive industry. "The fuel of the future is going to come from fruit like that sumach out by the road, or from apples, weeds, sawdust -- almost anything," he said. "There is fuel in every bit of vegetable matter that can be fermented. There's enough alcohol in one year's yield of an acre of potatoes to drive the machinery necessary to cultivate the fields for a hundred years."
Henry Ford's first Model-T was built to run on hemp gasoline and the CAR ITSELF WAS CONSTRUCTED FROM HEMP! On his large estate, Ford was photographed among his hemp fields. The car, 'grown from the soil,' had hemp plastic panels whose impact strength was 10 times stronger than steel; Popular Mechanics, 1941.
Rudolf Diesel, the inventor of the diesel engine, designed it to run on vegetable and seed oils like hemp; he actually ran the thing on peanut oil for the 1900 World's Fair. Henry Ford used hemp to not only construct cars but also fuel them.
As an alternative to methanol, hemp has at least one glowing report: the plant produces up to four times more cellulose per acre than trees. And a hemp crop grows a little quicker than a forest.
As for an alternative to petroleum...
Hemp grows like mad from border to border in America; so shortages are unlikely. And, unlike petrol, unless we run out of soil, hemp is renewable.
Growing and harvesting the stuff has much less environmental impact than procuring oil.
Hemp fuel is biodegradable; so oil spills become fertilizer not eco-catastrophes.
Hemp fuel does not contribute to sulfur dioxide air poisoning.
Other noxious emissions like carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons are radically slashed by using "biodiesel.
Hemp fuel is nontoxic and only a mild skin irritant; anybody who,s ever cleaned out an old carburetor with gasoline can confirm the same is not true for petrol.
Growing hemp for fuel would be a tremendous boon for American farmers and the agricultural industry, as opposed to people like, say, the Bush family.