UK Biochar Research Centre
Charchive Standard Biochars

Taking commercial apple production to Net Zero

Key Staff:
Dr. Saran P. Sohi, Prof. Ondřej Mašek, Chuyun Zhang

The project investigates the use of pyrolysis as a Net Zero technology for processing end-of-life orchards in apple production. The aim is to achieve carbon removal at the same as mitigating the negative effects of open burning on local air quality. Biomass from end-of-life orchards will be harvested and chipped and pyrolysis used to converted it to biochar and bioenergy. The biochar will be used into the establishment of new orchards and integrated into routine crop management.

The University contributes the expertise of the UK Biochar Research Centre. Part of this expertise relates to technical aspects. This concerns firstly insights into the function in biochar in different soils under different soil management, particularly in relation to crop management. Another aspect concerns insights into how the design and specification of pyrolysis systems (for biochar manufacture), which determines the quality and functional properties of biochar products. A third technical contribution is around methods to account for the net carbon removal associated with biochar adoption (life cycle analysis and carbon accounting methodology). In addition to these technical inputs, the University team will contribute insights into 15 years development and translation of biochar-related research into commercial business propositions, considering the status of current markets for biochar and relate carbon removal, identifying key opportunities and potential barriers. These insights include socioeconomic considerations - carbon finance, technology risk, the evolving regulatory context and work related to quality protocols.

Relevant Research Areas: