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Development and application of effective soil and water remediation products derived from crop residues - LK0875

The project aims to create new markets in land remediation for products derived from charred agricultural residues by demonstrating the efficacy and sustainability of adding charcoal to soil to sequester bio-available heavy metals.

Up until now the value of pyrolysis of organic source materials has been (1) as a means to produce energy and more recently (2) as a tool to sequester carbon through amendment into soil as ‘biochar’. The latter becomes an attractive proposition if the value (economic and environmental) of charcoal as a soil amendment exceeds its value as a renewable fuel source.

Value can be enhanced by using recently developed patented technology based on the ability of charred agricultural and forestry residues to sequester large quantities of heavy metals (up to 200,000 – 300,000 mg metal kg-1 charcoal). Demonstration of the efficacy of the technology to remediate contaminated land would result in a large market demand for agricultural crop residues that can be converted into valuable remediation products, thus adding value to those industries involved in the supply of charcoal for land remediation. Farmers could benefit as suppliers of agricultural source materials.
A consortium of industrial and academic partners will:
1) Assess performance of charcoals
2) Develop products for field applications
3) Demonstrate product efficacy for soil remediation at the field scale
4) Assess the effectiveness of different incorporation techniques
5) Describe the operating windows for the technology
6) Assess environmental impacts of the technology
7) Develop the supply chain and business model for the technology.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2011

To: 2014

Cost: £345,000
Contractor / Funded Organisations
C-Cure Solutions Limited, DEME Environmental Contractor, R3 Environmental Technology Ltd, Forestry Commission