Henfaes research centre, about 7 miles outside of Bangor, recently became the latest site for the application of biochar by our researchers. Rob Brown and Maria Majka with support from their colleagues at Bangor Uni, applied over 800 kg of biochar (by hand!) to 40 1.2m x 9m plots on the grassland farm. The plots have been seeded with grass, and the sites will be monitored as it matures into grassland pasture. Rob and Maria will regularly monitor the plots, taking soil samples and analysing the grass from each plot, over the next 4 years.

We’re working in collaboration with the Enhanced Rock Weathering Demonstrator (ERW4GGR) and are also applying silicate rock dust to some plots, on its own and in co-application with biochar. Enhanced rock weathering (ERW) is an acceleration of the natural absorption of CO2 that rocks undergo through chemical reactions over millions of years. As both ERW and biochar are land-based methods, it’s vital that we trial co-applications, so we know how these materials interact when they’re applied to the same soils.

“One of the features about our university farm is that we have about five or six different soil types and grassland types, from the coast all the way to the mountain. So, we’ve got a gradient of soil types from saline coastal land to peat on the mountain top.” – Davey Jones, University of Bangor

Some of our future trials will be looking into applying biochar to different soil types across the gradients of soil available at the Bangor University farm. This will show us how this GGR technology interacts with the different soil environments.