Economic perspective of ethanol and biodiesel coproduction from industrial hemp

Mothi Bharath Viswanathan, Ming Hsun Cheng, Tom Elmo Clemente, Ismail Dweikat, Vijay Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, the economics of producing biofuels from an industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa) genotype – 19m96136 was investigated. A lignocellulosic biofuel plant, hourly consuming 85 metric tons of hemp biomass was modeled in SuperPro Designer®. The integrated bioenergy plant produced hemp biodiesel and bioethanol from lipids and carbohydrates, respectively. The structural composition of the industrial hemp plant was analyzed in a previous study. The data obtained was used to simulate feedstock composition in SuperPro Designer®. The simulation results indicated that Hemp containing 2% lipids can yield up to 3.95 million gallons of biodiesel annually. On improving biomass lipid content to 5 and 10%, biodiesel production increased to 9.88 and 19.91 million gallons, respectively. The breakeven unit production cost of hemp biodiesel with 2, 5, and 10% lipid containing hemp was $18.49, $7.87, and $4.13/gallon, respectively. The biodiesel unit production cost when utilizing 10% lipid-containing hemp was comparable to soybean biodiesel at $4.13/gallon. Furthermore, sensitivity analysis revealed the possibility of a 7.80% reduction in unit production cost upon a 10% reduction in hemp feedstock cost. Furthermore, industrial hemp was capable of producing between 307.80 and 325.82 gallons of total biofuels per hectare of agricultural land than soybean.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number126875
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
StatePublished - May 25 2021


  • Biodiesel
  • Bioethanol
  • Fatty acid methyl esters
  • Industrial hemp
  • Technoeconomic analysis
  • Triacylglycerol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Strategy and Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Economic perspective of ethanol and biodiesel coproduction from industrial hemp'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this