Category: Webinars

Biomass Crops – Some Interesting Alternatives.

Some biomass crops are bigger and leave a greater impression than others whilst others might be humbler but still get the job done. Eucalyptus trees can produce exceptional yields of hardwood timber when the right species is planted in the right place. There are plenty of options with numerous species that can thrive with everything the UK climate can throw at them. Reed Canary Grass is at the other end of the spectrum – this is a short-term, lower-yielding perennial that is cheap to establish and easy to remove making it a perfect energy crop for a tenant farmer. Our panel includes environmental farmer John Hawkins and expert silviculturalist Bryan Elliott.

The second webinar in our series. “Emerging Markets for Biomass Crops” contains presentations from William Cracroft-Eley the chairman of Terravesta and Prof J.J. Leahy from the University of Limerick.

William Cracroft-Eley is the Chairman of Terravesta, the UKs largest miscanthus company. He has been growing Miscanthus on his Lincolnshire farm for 20 years. The company is involved in all aspects of cultivation, management, harvesting, processing and marketing of Miscanthus. Terravesta are currently engaged in the BFI-funded Omenz project which stands for ‘Optimising Miscanthus Establishment through improved mechanisation and data capture to meet Net Zero targets’.

OMENZ will deliver improvements on the entire Miscanthus establishment process, including approaches to producing planting material, field preparation, innovative agri-tech, new planting techniques, and cutting-edge technologies to monitor establishment in the field.

Prof J J Leahy is currently an associate professor  in the Dept of Chemical Sciences at the University of Limerick where he is involved in teaching, curriculum development and research in the area of  waste management and renewable energy.   He currently heads a research group consisting of chemists and chemical engineers that is focused on chemical technologies for biofuels and biorefining  from wastes.

Prof Leahy currently is leading the BioWILL project, an Interreg NWE funded project focusing on Integrated “Zero Waste” Biorefinery utilising all fractions of Willow feedstock for the production of high value salicylates from willow bark for medical applications, safe, food quality packaging material to replace fossil derived plastics, a feedstock in an innovative bio-energy anaerobic digestion system producing biogas and natural fertilisers.

The first of our Webinar Series – Land preparation – starting off on the right foot with speakers Mike Cooper from Miscanthus Nursery Ltd. and David Watson from Energy Crops Consultancy Ltd.