Soil/water contamination with organic/inorganic pollutants is a serious global problem requiring urgent solutions. Added to this is the global warming problem and the need to minimise/reverse CO2 emissions. Biochar (a charcoal material with prominent characteristics) provides an effective and innovative solution for reducing soil/water contamination as well as long-term CO2 capture. Biochar can adjust soil structure and improve its physicochemical properties to boost the uptake of soil nutrients for plant growth. Biochar is a high-value product with low remediation costs. Biochar’s projected annual growth rate is 14.5% (global biochar market size was $1.48billion in 2018 and is expected to reach $3.82billion by 2025).
While efforts in manufacturing biochar have increased in the last decade there is still need for advancing the manufacturing processes (known as pyrolysis) to improve biochar quality and product quantity.
The focus of this collaborative project between UK, China, Hungary, Malaysia and Nigeria is on advancing biochar manufacturing, by developing skills and examining a range of production techniques (different scales/conditions) to optimise the pyrolysis process specifically for biomass with abundance in the participating countries. We will also review the limitations associated with use of biochar including environmental/public health risks and lack of recognition by customers.