Credit: WPSD Local 6

With the extreme cold, the heat is on a lot of our minds. You try and save as much as you can with your heating bill, but what about the more unconventional methods?
You may remember Murray State University harvested their hemp crop about a month ago. Well now, the students and staff are working hard to prepare that hemp to produce additional heat.

The new bio burner is working hard to provide the heat they desperately need in this extreme cold.

With the winter cold and snow, it’s time for many of us to bundle up. Marisa Bedron, a graduate assistant at Murray State University said if anyone was working in the Equine Arena, they would wear gloves, leggings, jeans, bibs, coveralls, hats, earmuffs all to try and stay warm during classes.

But it’s a lifestyle Bedron and her students no longer have to endure. She says now people only have to wear light jackets, gloves, and maybe a hat.

Bedron helps maintain the Bio-Burner which burns material already abundantly found on the farm. Right now, it’s burning wood, but will soon be burning hemp, “We’re still working with it it’s definitely new technology and we’re figuring it out.”

Dr. Tony Brannon, Dean of the School of Agriculture hopes this helps the bottom line of the heating bill, “We’re going to be able to recycle some of our products that may not produce a lot of income but we may lower our expenses.”

The arena is heated by radiant heat: the panels heat the entire arena because the bio burner works with a boiler system.

Brannon says if the hemp is successful, the experiment could help a wider array of people, “We hope someday it’ll be transferable to homes into other agricultural entities.”

But for now, everyone is enjoying the heat. Bedron says, “It’s nice to be able to feel our body and be able to ride normally.”

Right now the campus is preparing the hemp to burn. They say when its ready to burn, they anticipate it will burn hotter and more efficiently than other materials.