Rapid biochar production from common land management harvests
Siôn Brackenbury of CommonsVision Ltd talks to Kath Ficken of WISE Network.
With investment from WISE Network we have been able to develop our concepts from the drawing board to commercialisation, a fantastic service.” Siôn Brackenbury, Project Manager.
CommonsVision is working with WISE Network to develop a means of producing biochar rapidly from feedstocks that are commonly removed from common ground such as bracken, as well as other invasive species such as rhododendron and Himalayan balsam. The company provides practical solutions to common land and ecological issues and the production of biochar provides a means of improving soil and enhancing carbon capture whilst assisting in the removal of invasive species.
WISE Network’s Biochar and Organic Geochemistry Research Teams are providing assistance utilising equipment at Swansea University to develop the design and build of the pyrolysis unit, used to produce biochar, by testing the flue gases and particulates produced during the production of char, in order to optimise the charring process. Analysis of the feed stocks and biochar are also being tested for PAH and toxic compounds, to assess whether the biochar produced from invasive species is suitable for use as a soil improver.
This project could further develop to determine the viability of biochar production as a sustainable land management practice. WISE Network hopes to help Commons Vision build commercial opportunities with other Welsh businesses who manage ecological areas where invasive species are prevalent.
“We have greatly benefited from our engagement with the WISE Network programme and look forward to making further progress in both reducing the impact of our operations and extending our offer to those who are hard-to-reach.”
Warren Jones, Manager
Beaumaris Leisure Centre