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UK Biochar Research Centre
Charchive Standard Biochars

Welcome to the UKBRC

Biochar is a specially designed charcoal which offers a bright future for organic resource management, soil improvement and energy production.

It contains a high proportion of extremely stable carbon, and so sustainable production of biochar can be a significant, viable Negative Emissions Technology for mitigating human-induced climate change. Find out more about biochar

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Since 2009, the UK Biochar Research Centre (UKBRC) has led strategic, multidisciplinary investigations of biochar. It is based in the School of GeoSciences at The University of Edinburgh, in collaboration with Newcastle University and Rothamsted Research. Find out more about UKBRC.

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UKBRC undertakes primary research into the production and use of biochar as well as engaging with relevant Governmental bodies.

Click here to access the report prepared by UKBRC and commissioned by the United Kingdom Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC): "An Assessment of the Benefits and Issues Associated with the Application of Biochar to Soil" (edited by Simon Shackley and Saran Sohi, published June 2010).

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) has issued an Interim Regulatory Position Statement on biochar - the first regulatory agency in the UK to develop a formal position on biochar regulation. 

Latest News & Developments

Annual COST meeting in Edinburgh 5-7th Nov. 2014

The Europe-wide COST Action on biochar launched in 2012 and runs until 2016. The Annual Meeting of Committee, Working Groups and Stakeholders will be in Edinburgh! The venue is the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation with UKBRC as local oraniser and host. Please see our COST Action page for details on how to participate in COST and to attend these meetings.

01 October 2014

1st prize at PYRO 2014 conference

Wolfram Buss (2nd year PhD) won the 1st prize at the 20th International Symposium on Analytical & Applied Pyrolysis (PYRO 2014) in Birmingham for his poster on “Mobile organic compounds in biochar – a potential source of contamination”. This work is part of Wolfram’s research on potential contaminants in biochar production and use, especially their formation, fate, and effects.

06 June 2014

Newcastle University - Research Associate posts for parallel work on carbonation

Newcastle University - a partner in UKBRC - has recently won funding from EPSRC to expand work on cabon capture in soil, with a focus on carbonation. Three Research Associate positions are available and details advertised on this webpage.

02 June 2014

EGU 2014 update

The European Geosciences Union (EGU) conference 27th April-2nd May 2014 has confirmed two oral sessions concerning biochar. A total of 70 approved abstracts were received. The sessions will run on Tuesday AM and Thursday PM and include a 'splinter' session (Thursday PM) for further discussion.

SSS 6.15 "Strategies for Effective Soil Carbon Sequestration" will draw together global expertise on biochar, wildfire charcoal and pyrogenic carbon. The session will foster synergies so as to accelerate the specification of carbon storage technologies. SSS 6.5 "Biochar and organic waste in soils" will consider biochar in a stronger agronomic context.

19 February 2014

Biochar commercialisation in Mexico

A new assessment of the potential for increased biochar commercialisation in Mexico has just been published.  The report, co-authored by former UKBRC staff member Rodrigo Ibarrola, highlights the scale of the commercial biochar opportunity in Mexico and how it fits with government policy.  The report concludes with a roadmap that details the critical technical and social assessments necessary to advance commercial operations.

You can access the report in English or Spanish from here:

http://www.biochar.ac.uk/abstract.php?id=72

14 October 2013

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Other Recent Content & Updates


Recent Publications

Impact of pine chip biochar on trace greenhouse gas emissions and soil nutrient dynamics in an annual ryegrass system in California

Authors: Teri Angst, Johan Six, Dave Reay, Saran Sohi
Published in Agroecosystems and the Environment
Read more..

Published: March 1 2014

Biochars in soils: new insights and emerging research needs

Authors: Frank Verheijen, Ellen Graber, Nele Ameloot, Anna Bastos, Saran Sohi, Heike Knicker
Published in European Journal of Soil Science
Read more..

Published: January 1 2014

The way forward in biochar research: targeting trade-offs between the potential wins

Authors: Simon Jeffery, Martijn Bezemer, Gerard Cornellisen, Thomas Kuyper, Johannes Lehmann, Liesje Mommer, Saran Sohi, Tess Van De Voorde, David Wardle and Jan Willem Van Groenigen
Published in GCB Bioenergy doi:10.1111/gcbb.12132
Read more..

Published: December 3 2013