School of GeoSciences

UK Biochar Research Centre

Our School hosts the UK Biochar Research Centre, which leads strategic, multidisciplinary investigations of biochar and provides a range of research and advice to relevant government bodies and companies.

A scientist in a lab wearing surgical gloves holding a jar containing biochar. The jar label says 'willow biochar'

The UK Biochar Research Centre (UKBRC) is a world-class facility located in the School of GeoSciences at the University of Edinburgh, in collaboration with Newcastle University and Rothamsted Research.

We undertake disciplinary and interdisciplinary research on:

  • biochar production and analysis of energy-rich co-products
  • the diverse potential applications of biochar; particularly as a beneficial soil amendment, as well as other uses
  • the feasible development of Pyrolysis-Biochar systems and Life Cycle Assessments for sustainable resource management.

We engage with relevant governmental bodies, non-government organisations, communities, and the research community through our work.  We also provide a range of research and advice to companies interested in biochar internationally.

Our Centre is also a partner in the Scottish Biofuel Programme. Our partnership means that UKBRC can provide free initial advice, expertise to SMEs in Scotland with the potential to integrate biochar with energy capture from pyrolysis and coupled technologies.

What is biochar?

Biochar is a specially designed charcoal which offers a bright future for organic resource management, soil improvement and energy production.

It contains a high proportion of extremely stable carbon, and so sustainable production of biochar can be a significant, viable Negative Emissions Technology for mitigating human-induced climate change.

UK Biochar Research Centre (UKBRC) website

We encourage you to visit our UK Biochar Research Centre website for more details, including:

  • research and projects
  • production and assessment information
  • publications
  • links to resources, news and events

UK Biochar Research Centre website


Contact the UK Biochar Research Centre

Contact details and information on access to the UK Biochar Research Centre for staff, students and visitors.

Our biochar facilities

We have a range of bespoke biochar development and production facilities including small, medium and large pyrolysis units.

Small Research Facility (SRF)

UK Biochar Research Centre bespoke development and production facilities are operated as a Small Research Facility (SRF).

A Small Research Facility (SRF) is a facility or service provided by the School and used for research and teaching.

They are also available for use by the wider community such as external academic or commercial use.  Our SRF's are available for hire or on a consultancy basis.  These charges are recognised by grant funders and can therefore form part of a grant submission.

Explore our Small Research Facilities (SRF)