UK Biochar Research Centre
Charchive Standard Biochars

Steven Lewis

photo of Steven Lewis
PhD (E3 DTP) student
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Steven is A NERC (E3 DTP) student researching The biochar-soil-plant interface: unlocking the potential for a sustainable phosphorus fertiliser.

The use of novel slow release fertilisers has a potential three-fold benefit: (1) Reduced reliance on an unsustainably mined rock phosphate as a source of phosphorus (P); (2) A more stable fertiliser economy and (3) Potential for dramatically reduced P wastage.

In order for such products to be adopted in mainstream agricultural practice the risks as well as benefits have to be quantified. Our project is a collaboration of the University of Edinburgh (UoE) with the James Hutton Insitute (JHI). It will assess risks associated with a novel biochar made from the combination of a P rich waste (sewage sludge) with mineral waste from former coal mines (ochre).

Once the environmental safety of such products is quantified, the mechanisms involved in P uptake from these novel biochars will be explored. This will aid targeted testing of biochar application, with the intention of reducing eutrophication risks from legacy soil P.

This project is supervised by Prof. Kate Heal (UoE), Dr Saran Sohi (UKBRC, UoE) and Dr Marc Stutter (JHI) and funded by the NERC E3 DTP program.

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