Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Natural Waste Solution for Reclaiming Contaminated Land

Published: Monday, July 15, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, July 15, 2013
Bookmark and Share
A charcoal made from biomass could hold the key to re-claiming thousands of square kilometres of polluted ‘brownfield’ land across the world.

In China, USA and UK alone it is estimated that brownfield sites – abandoned industrial and commercial land – covers an area in excess of 120,000 square kilometres equivalent to countries the size of England and North Korea, and the state of Mississippi, US.

Much of this land is contaminated, hazardous and costly to reclaim despite increasing pressures on valuable agricultural land, especially in developing countries.

One solution attracting the interest of scientists, chemical engineers and environmentalists is biochar, a charcoal made from natural waste known as biomass. Charcoal has long been known for improving soil fertility and structure. New research is now revealing its potential to control contaminants such as organic pollutants and heavy metals including Lead, Copper, Cadmium and Zinc.

Adding biochar has the ability to lock in chemicals such as Arsenic for slow release into the soil. A study1 comparing soil treated with biochar using waste rice straw was able to reduce the movement of heavy metals in soil by up to two-thirds.

Food chain safety can also be improved. Another study1 found that biochar, made from green waste compost, could significantly reduce the take-up of heavy metals in ryegrass, which is widely used in pastures for grazing animals.

David Brown, chief executive of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), said: “Chemical engineers and other fields of study are looking very closely at the potential of biochar.

“It clearly presents an important opportunity to reduce the impact of harmful pollutants in the environment and bring back into use huge areas of unproductive land with global population expected to grow by nearly a third to nine billion by 2050.

“Some countries like the US and UK have made good attempts at quantifying abandoned or contaminated land.

“In England alone, it is estimated that an area equivalent to the West Midlands conurbation – around 66,000 hectares - is designated as abandoned or derelict brownfield land.

“The picture is less clear in other countries especially in fast developing and growing nations. The problem will need to be addressed sooner or later, and biochar could be the solution in many parts of the world”, concluded Brown.

‘Innovating to ease the strain of changing land use’ is just one of the issues identified in IChemE’s latest technical strategy, Chemical Engineering Matters. Major themes identified in the strategy include food, water, energy and health.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,900+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,200+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Low Impact Fracking Fluid on Top at IChemE Global Awards
A novel fracturing fluid designed to make fracking greener.
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Odour-eating the Planet’s Smells
IChemE will be hosting a webinar on 10 April 2014, called ‘The Life and Times of Odours’.
Saturday, April 05, 2014
Biodiesel Production Goes Eco-friendly
New water-free process for the production of biodiesel from waste vegetable oils.
Friday, March 21, 2014
Sector Backs Push for Improved Safety
Hazards 24 event to be held on 7-9 May 2014 at Scotland’s Edinburgh International Conference Centre.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Unlocking the Energy Potential of the World’s Waste
Latest technologies for converting energy from waste are being discussed at the 12th European Gasification Conference in The Netherlands.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Valeska Ting Awarded Sir Frederick Warner Medal
Dr Ting was presented with her medal and prize on 9 December at the Royal Academy of Engineering in UK.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Plant Ageing Gene Key to Food Supply
Controlling the life-cycle of plants could be the solution to increasing food production as population exceeds nine billion by 2050.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Liquid That Dissolves Pollution
Ionic liquids are able to dissolve almost anything and possess special properties which mean they always remain liquid and never evaporate.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Whisky-fed Salmon to Boost Sustainability
New partnership will convert waste from whisky production into feed for salmon and fish farming.
Friday, October 04, 2013
Research Pilot Supported by Chemical Engineers
Pilot will help inform EPSRC’s strategy for chemical engineering.
Monday, September 23, 2013
Food Science that Fools Hunger Pangs
Feeling full for longer to satisfy appetites and help reduce snacking between meals is one of the solutions to reducing the amount of food we eat.
Monday, August 19, 2013
Food Engineering Solution to Obesity
Chemical engineers found that hydrophobins halve fat levels in some foods by replacing them with highly stable air-filled emulsions.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Chemistry-based Industry is Vital to UK’s Recovery
New report from the Chemistry Growth Strategy Group.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Smog Eating Street Reduces Air Pollution
Titanium oxide (TiO2) used to remove chemical pollutants from the air.
Monday, July 08, 2013
Chemical Engineers are Beginning to Play a Leading Role in the Treatment of Cancers
Engineers are helping to combat drug resistance and finding better ways of delivering treatments directly at tumours.
Monday, July 08, 2013
Scientific News
Natural Protein Points to New Inflammation Treatment
Findings may offer insight to effective treatments for inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis.
Genetic Cause of Rare Allergy
Institute has identified a genetic mutation responsible for a rare form of inherited hives induced by vibratory urticaria.
Battery Component Found to Harm Key Soil Microorganism
The material at the heart of the lithium ion batteries that power electric vehicles, laptop computers and smartphones has been shown to impair a key soil bacterium, according to new research.
Keeping Tumor Growth at Bay
Engineers at Washington University in St. Louis found a way to keep a cancerous tumor from growing by using nanoparticles of the main ingredient in common antacid tablets.
Natural Protein Points to New Inflammation Treatment
Findings may offer insight to effective treatments for inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis.
Mitochondria Shown to Trigger Cell Ageing
An international team of scientists has for the first time shown that mitochondria, the batteries of the cells, are essential for ageing.
Cancer Cells Kill Off Healthy Neighbours
Cancer cells create space to grow by killing off surrounding healthy cells, according to UK researchers working with fruit flies.
Validating the Accuracy of CRISPR-Cas9
IBS Researchers create multiplex Digenome-seq to find errors in CRISPR-Cas9 processes.
Cancer Drug Target Visualized at Atomic Resolution
New study using cryo-electron microscopy shows how potential drugs could inhibit cancer.
Genetic Mechanism Behind Cancer-Causing Mutations
Researchers at Indiana University has identified a genetic mechanism that is likely to drive mutations that can lead to cancer.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,900+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,200+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!