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Comparative Evaluation of Industrial Hemp Cultivars: Agronomical Practices, Feedstock Characterization, and Potential for Biofuels and Bioproducts

  • Lalitendu Das
    Lalitendu Das
    Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, University of Kentucky, 126 C.E. Barnhart Building, Lexington, Kentucky 40546, United States
  • Wenqi Li
    Wenqi Li
    Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, University of Kentucky, 126 C.E. Barnhart Building, Lexington, Kentucky 40546, United States
    More by Wenqi Li
  • Luke A. Dodge
    Luke A. Dodge
    Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, University of Kentucky, 126 C.E. Barnhart Building, Lexington, Kentucky 40546, United States
  • Joseph C. Stevens
    Joseph C. Stevens
    Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, University of Kentucky, 126 C.E. Barnhart Building, Lexington, Kentucky 40546, United States
  • David W. Williams
    David W. Williams
    Plant and Soils Science Department, University of Kentucky, 1405 Veterans Drive, Lexington, Kentucky 40546, United States
    Robinson Center for Appalachian Resource Sustainability (RCARS), 176 Robinson Road, Jackson, Kentucky 41339, United States
  • Hongqiang Hu
    Hongqiang Hu
    Energy and Environment Science and Technology, Idaho National Laboratory, 1955 N. Fremont Avenue, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83415, United States
    More by Hongqiang Hu
  • Chenlin Li
    Chenlin Li
    Energy and Environment Science and Technology, Idaho National Laboratory, 1955 N. Fremont Avenue, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83415, United States
    More by Chenlin Li
  • Allison E. Ray
    Allison E. Ray
    Energy and Environment Science and Technology, Idaho National Laboratory, 1955 N. Fremont Avenue, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83415, United States
  • , and 
  • Jian Shi*
    Jian Shi
    Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, University of Kentucky, 126 C.E. Barnhart Building, Lexington, Kentucky 40546, United States
    *Email: [email protected]; Phone: (859) 218-4321; Fax: (859) 257-5671
    More by Jian Shi
Cite this: ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 2020, 8, 16, 6200–6210
Publication Date (Web):March 11, 2020
https://doi.org/10.1021/acssuschemeng.9b06145
Copyright © 2020 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract

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    Industrial hemp has gained resurgent interest recently for applications in various sectors. This study evaluated 11 different industrial hemp [6 fiber-only and 5 dual-purpose (fiber and grain)] cultivars and compared their potential as a commodity crop for biofuel and bioproducts via combined agronomical, experimental, and economic analysis approaches. Composition analyses suggest large variations on the glucan, xylan, and lignin contents among the tested hemp cultivars while the theoretical ethanol yields ranged from 91 to 101 gallons/dry ton hemp stems predicted based on the glucan and xylan contents. Results from dilute acid pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis suggest practical ethanol yields of 70–91 gallons/dry ton hemp stems, with the highest ethanol yield of 91.1 gallons/dry ton hemp stems from the Futura 75 cultivar and the lowest of 70.6 gallons/dry ton hemp stems from the Codimone cultivar. Based on the agronomic data, the per hectare hemp stem biomass yield ranged from 2933 to 8340 kg for fiber-only cultivars and from 3582 to 7665 kg for the dual-purpose cultivars. In addition to the stems, field trial for the dual-purpose cultivars showed grain yields ranging from 555 to 1083 kg/ha. Preliminary cost analysis indicates that overall dual-purpose cultivars have advantages over fiber-only cultivars in terms of potential per hectare gross profit, with Bialobrzeskie and NWG 331 being the highest among all tested cultivars. These combined evaluations illustrate that industrial hemp has a significant potential to become a promising regional commodity crop for producing both biofuels and value-added products.

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    The Supporting Information is available free of charge at https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acssuschemeng.9b06145.

    • List of cultivars evaluated in this study and their type and sources; summary of sugar recovery based on raw biomass form different liquid streams during pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis; correlations between sugar yields and lignin content of hemp cultivars; NIR spectra and principle component analysis of raw and pretreated hemp samples (PDF)

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    Cited By

    This article is cited by 25 publications.

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