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"Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded."

Abraham Lincoln - Former U.S. President

Industrial Hemp

Oz Scientist promotes Hemp body for bio-degradable car.


21 May 2001

Hemp, coconuts and banana trees could hold the key to the biodegradable car of the future, according to Associate Professor Alan Crosky of the School of Material Science and Engineering at the University of New South Wales.


"Disposal of old cars is a growing problem, especially in Europe. It is only a matter of time before the expense of the disposal becomes the owner's responsibility and the consumer is forced to pay the full life-cycle costs of their car," Professor Crosky said. "Because this will increase the cost of cars, developing an environmentally-friendly material that can be used to make the bodies of cars is a now a viable option."


Professor Crosky is working to create a plant fibre based material from which cars can be made. "Because it would be plant-based the product would be renewable and biodegradable, as well as carbon dioxide neutral," he said. "It would also be light, which would be a huge advantage in environmentally-friendly battery powered cars."


So far Professor Crosky's research indicates that hemp is the best fibre to use. The next step is for the researchers to compare the strength of hemp grown in a controlled environment to that grown commercially for clothing.


"Obviously impact strength is vital when you are creating a product that will be used for the bodies of cars. We need to make sure the people in the car are as safe as possible," he said.

"In theory, a plant-based material should absorb more of the force of impact than metal but we want to check the hemp to see if any weaknesses develop as it grows. However, finding a safe place to grow the hemp has been an unforeseen problem."

Professor Crosky's research will also have repercussions for the low cost building materials market, which is particularly important in the developing world. "The developing world is already using some plant-based materials for construction so they are definitely a possible market for the products of our research," he said.
Henry Ford thought of this years ago. See the Henry Ford Hemp car .