Next Article in Journal
A Study of Self-Powered Robotic Parking Lots in Inhabited Areas
Previous Article in Journal
European Experience in Waste Management
Font Type:
Arial Georgia Verdana
Font Size:
Aa Aa Aa
Line Spacing:
Column Width:
Proceeding Paper

Possibilities for Using Waste Hemp Straw for Solid Biofuel Production †

Jakub Frankowski
1,* and
Dominika Sieracka
Department of Breeding and Agricultural Technology for Fibrous and Energy Plants, Institute of Natural Fibers and Medicinal Plants—National Research Institute, Wojska Polskiego 71B, 60-630 Poznań, Poland
Research Coordination, Controlling and Technology Transfer Department, Institute of Natural Fibers and Medicinal Plants—National Research Institute, Wojska Polskiego 71B, 60-630 Poznań, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Presented at Innovations-Sustainability-Modernity-Openness Conference (ISMO’21), Bialystok, Poland, 14 May 2021.
Environ. Sci. Proc. 2021, 9(1), 18;
Published: 25 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Proceedings of Innovations-Sustainability-Modernity-Openness Conference (ISMO’21))


Hemp biomass is useful in many branches of the economy. Hemp cultivation to obtain seeds has been gaining importance recently. In this process, shredded straw is a waste biomass which can be used for energy purposes. The possibilities for using waste hemp straw for solid biofuel production are described in this extended abstract, using the example of the Henola variety. The analyzed biomass was characterized by a high content of cellulose (over 40%) and hemicellulose (almost 30%), as well as a high calorific value (18,300 kJ·kg−1) and heat of combustion (17,100 kJ·kg−1).

1. Introduction

Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) was one of the first species used by humans for economic purposes. It has been cultivated for centuries in many regions of the world in order to obtain fiber for textiles and seeds, which are used in various branches of the economy [1]. Seeds are a source of protein and oil, rich in multi-saturated fatty acids [2,3]. Their inflorescences have been used in medicine due to the cannabinoids contained in them in high amounts [4]. Owing to its unique properties, hemp biomass is also useful for biocomposite production [5]. In addition, it can be used for energy purposes; shafts, which are waste produced when obtaining fiber, can be successfully used for the production of solid biofuels, such as pellets or briquettes [6]. Given the circular economy, this is a particularly reasonable way to use the waste biomass remaining after panicle deseeding. This biomass is not suitable for textile purposes or as a fertilizer due to difficulties in plowing. With the growing demand for hemp seed use for food and seed purposes, the volume of this type of waste biomass is increasing every year [7,8]. The aim of this study was to determine the possibilities of using waste hemp straw of Henola, one of the most popular Polish hemp varieties, for solid biofuel production.

2. Materials and Methods

Typical varieties of hemp give low yields of seeds (approx. 8–12 dt/ha), which are mainly used as seed for further reproduction or for the production of nutritious edible oil. Due to consumers’ growing interest in products from Cannabis L., other than for fiber, work on the creative breeding of new varieties has been intensified in recent years. Henola, one variety of hemp registered in 2017, is characterized by an approximately one month-shorter vegetation period, two times-shorter length of plants, significantly larger inflorescences and a much higher seed yield compared to typical hemp fiber cultivars. The average yield of straw from Henola seed plantation is approx. 18 Mg∙ha−1 of dry mass [7,8]. Nowadays, this variety has been successfully cultivated in Europe and North and South America, as well as in Australia.
Analyses of the chemical composition of the hemp biomass from the growing season 2020 were performed at the Faculty of Wood Technology PULS, according to the PN-92/P-50092 standard for plant material. The following parameters were determined:
moisture content using the oven-dry (gravimetric) method,
content of cellulose according to Seifert using a mixture of acetylacetone and dioxane,
content of lignin according to Tappi using concentrated sulfuric acid,
content of holocellulose using sodium chlorite,
pentosanes using the trihydroxybenzene method,
contents of minerals determined according to the DIN 51731 standards.
Experimental materials were ground in a Pulverisette 15 laboratory mill, with the analytical fraction of 0.4–0.1 mm being separated on sieves.
The determination of the heat of combustion was carried out in accordance with PN-81/G-04513 in the ZKL-4 calorimeter, which is designed to measure the heat of combustion of solid fuels. In the hemp straw sample, the content of carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen was also determined using procedures compliant with the requirements of the following standards: PN-EN 15104: 2011 and PN-EN 15289: 2011 [8,9,10].

3. Results

The obtained results of hemp biomass of the Henola variety were shown in Table 1, as the mean value of three analyzed samples.
The biomass of the Henola variety is characterized by a high content of cellulose (over 40%) and hemicellulose (almost 30%). Moreover, analyzing the obtained results, it can be concluded that its calorific value is only slightly lower than that of other wastes commonly regarded as a valuable substrate for the production of solid biofuels; it is higher than the heat of combustion of kenaf biomass (15,800 kJ∙kg−1), Virginia mallow (17,200 kJ∙kg−1) and rapeseed (17,600 kJ∙kg−1). Nevertheless, the obtained value of this parameter is lower than in the case of wheat straw (18,700 kJ∙kg−1) or hemp panicles (19,800 kJ∙kg−1) [11]. Henola’s calorific value is also higher compared to floriculture waste such as tulips and chrysanthemums. Nevertheless, the obtained result is lower than the calorific value of roses and sunflowers [12].

4. Conclusions

The results of the carried-out analyses indicated that the hemp biomass of the Henola variety is a good substrate for the production of solid biofuels. In addition, the development of a comprehensive technology for cultivation, harvesting and use of biomass in industry based on the issues of agricultural engineering will allow the determination of not only the energy potential, but also the general economic potential of the Henola variety, as well as the best methods for implementing the obtained results into practice in accordance with the principles of the circular economy.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, J.F., D.S.; methodology, J.F.; software, J.F.; validation, J.F., D.S.; formal analysis, J.F., D.S.; investigation, J.F., D.S.; resources, J.F., D.S.; data curation, J.F., D.S.; writing—original draft preparation, J.F., D.S.; writing—review and editing, J.F., D.S.; visualization, J.F.; supervision, project administration and funding acquisition, J.F. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.


This extended abstract was prepared as a result of the realization of the project entitled: “Improving the technology of hemp biomass pelletization” as part of the project “Incubator of Innovation 4.0” under the Intelligent Development Operational Program 2014–2020 financed by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education (contract number: 3/11/2020/IWNiRZ).

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


  1. Karus, M.; Vogt, D. European hemp industry: Cultivation, processing and product lines. Euphytica 2004, 140, 7–12. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  2. Mihoc, M.; Pop, G.; Alexa, E.; Radulov, I. Nutritive quality of romanian hemp varieties (Cannabis sativa L.) with special focus on oil and metal contents of seeds. Chem. Cent. J. 2012, 6, 1–12. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed] [Green Version]
  3. Kriese, U.; Schumann, E.; Weber, W.E.; Beyer, M.; Brühl, L. Oil content, tocopherol composition and fatty acid patterns of the seeds of 51 Cannabis sativa L. genotypes. Euphytica 2004, 137, 339–351. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  4. Giroud, C. Analysis of cannabinoids in hemp plants. CHIMIA Int. J. Chem. 2002, 56, 80–83. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  5. Sawpan, M.A.; Pickering, K.L.; Fernyhough, A. Improvement of mechanical performance of industrial hemp fibre reinforced polylactide biocomposites. Compos. Part A Appl. Sci. Manuf. 2011, 42, 310–319. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  6. Rehman, M.S.U.; Rashid, N.; Saif, A.; Mahmood, T.; Han, J.I. Potential of bioenergy production from industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa): Pakistan perspective. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 2013, 18, 154–164. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  7. Burczyk, H.; Frankowski, J. Henola—Polska odmiana konopi oleistych. Zag. Dor. Rol. 2018, 93, 89–101. [Google Scholar]
  8. Łochyńska, M.; Frankowski, J. Impact of Silkworm Excrement Organic Fertilizer on Hemp Biomass Yield and Composition. J. Ecol. Eng. 2019, 20, 63–71. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
  9. Łochyńska, M.; Frankowski, J. The biogas production potential from silkworm waste. Waste Manag. 2018, 79, 564–570. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. Waliszewska, B.; Mleczek, M.; Zborowska, M.; Goliński, P.; Rutkowski, P.; Szentner, K. Changes in the chemical composition and the structure of cellulose and lignin in elm wood exposed to various forms of arsenic. Cellulose 2019, 26, 6303–6315. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [Green Version]
  11. Mańkowski, J.; Kołodziej, J.; Baraniecki, P. Energetyczne wykorzystanie biomasy z konopi uprawianych na terenach zrekultywowanych. Chemik 2014, 68, 901–904. [Google Scholar]
  12. Frankowski, J.; Zaborowicz, M.; Dach, J.; Czekała, W.; Przybył, J. Biological Waste Management in the Case of a Pandemic Emergency and Other Natural Disasters. Determination of Bioenergy Production from Floricultural Waste and Modeling of Methane Production Using Deep Neural Modeling Methods. Energies 2020, 13, 3014. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef]
Table 1. The results of hemp biomass chemical composition analyses (% of dry mass).
Table 1. The results of hemp biomass chemical composition analyses (% of dry mass).
Analyzed CharacteristicsContent (% of DM)
substances soluble in cold water16.24
substances soluble in hot water19.13
substances soluble in 1% NaOH43.05
nitrogen0.52 ± 0.07
hydrogen5.66 ± 0.02
heat of combustion18,300 kJ·kg−1
calorific value 17,100 kJ·kg−1
Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Share and Cite

MDPI and ACS Style

Frankowski, J.; Sieracka, D. Possibilities for Using Waste Hemp Straw for Solid Biofuel Production. Environ. Sci. Proc. 2021, 9, 18.

AMA Style

Frankowski J, Sieracka D. Possibilities for Using Waste Hemp Straw for Solid Biofuel Production. Environmental Sciences Proceedings. 2021; 9(1):18.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Frankowski, Jakub, and Dominika Sieracka. 2021. "Possibilities for Using Waste Hemp Straw for Solid Biofuel Production" Environmental Sciences Proceedings 9, no. 1: 18.

Article Metrics

Back to TopTop