The UK Biochar Research Centre (UKBRC) has been initiated by Prof. Stuart  Haszeldine at the University of Edinburgh, with “Science and Innovation” funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Key posts leading research in  soil science, pyrolysis engineering, and socio-economics & policy have been filled, and recruitment of associated post-docs and PhD students begins shortly. The objective of UKBRC is to generate scientific evidence that improves understanding of biochar function, addresses key uncertainties, informs policy and regulation, and underpin commercial and community initiatives around biochar. Around these core activities and with two initial partners – Rothamsted Research and Newcastle University – UKBRC seeks to build an expanding research programme, engage other research groups nationally and internationally, and develop links with similar programmes in other countries. The remit of UKBRC’s activity will be guided by a diverse UK stakeholder group, and an international scientific review panel.

The UKBRC had a launch event in April 2009 which was a workshop primarily for the UK research community in which drivers for, and risks and barriers to the adoption of, pyrolysis-biochar were debated and research priorities discussed. Over 100 delegates attended the meeting from across the UK, with some international participation.

March 2010 Update: 2nd Annual Meeting to be held April 28 – 29th 2010

Building on the April 1st launch of the UK Biochar Research Centre in Edinburgh last year, a second annual meeting will be held at Rothamsted Research on Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th April 2010.

The overall purpose of the workshop is to enable those interested or actively researching biochar to come together and exchange experiences and to learn of progress in the UK community from a inter-disciplinary perspective. The first day will involve keynote presentations setting the scene for biochar as an agricultural and carbon storage product, and identify the key research questions. The second day is dedicated to a detailed examination of emerging research data around biochar production, soil interactions, life cycle analysis, economic appraisal and so on.

There will be no charge to attend and a complimentary sandwich buffet and refreshments will be provided on each day.

For more information and to register, see the conference website.

UKBRC is an alliance between researchers at University of Edinburgh, Rothamsted Research and Newcastle University, underpinned by a Science and Innovation award from EPSRC and the additional backing of the Scottish Funding Council.

UKBRC can be contacted at the following email address: