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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

Research opportunity in Edinburgh

In connection with the Greenhouse Gas Removal project announced on 20th April, a 3-year post-doctoral opportunity in soil carbon dynamics is currently advertised at Edinburgh. Please click here for details of the role, eligibility and how to apply (deadline: 13 July 2017).

13 June 2017

Research of biochar in Greenhouse Gas Removal

The University of Edinburgh is contributing to a major NERC-led initiative exploring Greenhouse Gas Removal (GGR) options in a global context. Over the next three years, work in the School of GeoSciences could inform future decisions on commitments such as the Paris Agreement. Prof Mat Williams and Dr Saran Sohi will help assess the global potential for CO2 removal into soil, as part of a consortium led by Prof Pete Smith at the University of Aberdeen. Soils can be enabled by higher organic matter, storing biochar and/or forming carbonate minerals – but the potential synergies with water, plants and biomass would need to be optimised by location. These synergies will be explored in this new work.

20 April 2017

New publications on biochar phosphorus

Two further articles arising out of Jess Shepherd's PhD research have been published.  Available "open access" for a limited time by clicking on these titles: Biochar and enhanced phosphate capture - mapping mechanisms to functional properties in ChemosphereBioavailability of phosphorus, other nutrients and potentially toxic elements from marginal biomass-derived biochar in Science of the Total Environment.

30 March 2017

UKBRC website back online

The UKBRC website has been updated and re-hosted over the past four weeks. We are sorry that it has been inaccessible during this time.

14 March 2017

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

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Other Recent Content & Updates


Recent Publications

Biochar and enhanced phosphate capture: Mapping mechanisms to functional properties

Authors: Jessica Shepherd, Stephen Joseph, Saran Sohi and Kate Heal
Published in Chemosphere
Read more..

Published: March 31 2017

Bioavailability of phosphorus, other nutrients and potentially toxic elements from marginal biomass-derived biochar assessed in barley (Hordeum vulgare) growth experiments

Authors: Jessica Shepherd, Wolfram Buss, Saran Sohi and Kate Heal
Published in Science of the Total Environment
Read more..

Published: March 31 2017

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