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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

Current PhD opportunities

One fully funded PhD project (under a new European Training Network) - and one project currently listed for the new round of student recruitment in E3, the NERC Dcotoral Training Partnership. Full details via the PhD Opportunities page. Deadlines are in mid-January.

01 December 2016

New books concerning biochar

Viktor Bruckman is the lead editor of a new book from Cambridge University Press. Biochar is the central topic, but the subheading is "regional supply chain approach in view of climate change mitigation", lending a distinctive slant. Earlier this year a second title from Routledge was launched, edited by Simon Shackley and others, drawing on the work of the EU Interreg initiative Climate Saving Soils.

16 November 2016

Jessica Shepherd PhD

University of Edinburgh PhD student Jessica Shepherd, affiliated with UKBRC, passed her final exam on 3rd November. The title of her thesis is Ochre and biochar: technologies for phosphorus capture and re-use. Part of the work appears in an article already published. Content from other chapters is in review - or preparation for journal submission.

03 November 2016

Wolfram Buss PhD and new article

Wolfram Buss successfully completed his PhD exam on 28th June. Another of the articles based on his research was published online the previous day and can be freely downloaded (as a PDF file) via this link until 16th August. It concerns the suitability of biochar derived specifically from types of biomass that are of low alternative economic value.

28 June 2016

NEWS India-UK Fellowships

UK Research Councils provide funding to the "Newton-Bhabha Virtual Centre on Nitrogen Efficiency of Whole-cropping Systems for improved performance and resilience in agriculture". The Centre includes funds for 3-6 month Fellowships, that facilitate mobility of scientists between India and UK. This currently includes several that concern biochar for its interactions with nitrogen: details are on the relevant project page here.

06 June 2016

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Other Recent Content & Updates


Recent Publications

Systems integration for biochar in European forestry: drivers and strategies

Authors: Saran Sohi and Tom Kuppens
Published in 2016
Read more..

Published: November 16 2016

Optimising the recovery and re-use of phosphorus from wastewater effluent for sustainable fertiliser development

Authors: Jessica Shepherd, Kate Heal and Saran Sohi
Published in Water Research
Read more..

Published: March 1 2016

Toward the Standardization of Biochar analysis: The COST Action TD1107 interlaboratory comparison

Authors: Hans Bachmann, Thomas Bucheli, Alba Dieguez-Alonso, Daniele Fabbri, Heike Knicker, Hans-Peter Schmidt, Axel Ulbricht, Roland Becker, Alessandro Buscaroli, Diane Buerge, Andrew Cross, Dane Dickinson, Akio Enders, Valdemar Esteves, Michael Evangelou, Guido Fellet, Kevin Friedrich, Gabriel Gasco Guerrero, Bruno Glaser, Ulrich Hanke, Kelly Hanley, Isabel Hilber, Dimitrios Kalderis, Jens Leifeld, Ondrej Masek, Jan Mumme, Marina Carmona, Roberto Calvelo Pereira, Frederic Rees, Alessandro Rombolà, José Maria de la Rosad, Ruben Sakrabani, Saran Sohi, Gerhard Soja, Massimo Valagussa, Frank Verheijen and Franz Zehetner
Published in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Read more..

Published: February 1 2016