Early Career Biomass Network Symposium was a success

May 15, 2014

Following the Easter break, indulging on chocolate eggs for our personal energy, the University of Southampton hosted the third annual early career biomass network symposium where we heard all aspects of biomass and bioenergy. The symposium went off with unanimous opinion of huge success. There were sessions including GHG and LCA of bioenergy, biochemical engineering, biochar, modelling and ecosystem services. These attracted attendees from a wide variety of disciplines such as ecologists, geneticists, biochemists, geographers, computer scientists and even someone from one of the major funding bodies.


The first day was kick started with a session on Miscanthus involving presentations by Jon McCalmont and Chris Nunn on their work in the CBC and ELUM projects at Aberystwyth. The day continued with a talk on GHG emissions from bioenergy supply chains where we heard up to 20% losses are found in the biomass supply chain in both open air storage and chipping. This was followed by modelling of the energy crop market and a talk from BBSRC on the funding process of such research. Finally the day was rounded off with a lovely meal in Southampton; we all learned about cultural differences in new years’ traditions.


Day two started on the topic of anaerobic digestion with talks from Harper Adams and the University of Southampton which was smoothly followed by the enzymatic extraction of glucose from poplar wood from another group at the University of Southampton. Land use change impacts and biodiversity was subsequently the final topic of the symposium with studies from the local New Forest, Sussex and Sumatra.


With such a successful couple of days full of a wide range of topics all related to biomass there was never a dull moment. All in all a very successful symposium!


By Dr Suzanne Milner and Zoe Harris