Image of the month

BiocharThis is a scanning electron microscope image of biochar, a form charcoal intended for use as a soil additive. One possible benefit of adding biochar to soil is that it could enhance carbon storage and thus reduce global warming. The effect of biochar on soil properties is being studied by Joanna Uglow, an MSc student in the School of Human and Environmental Sciences, working for Dr Joanna Clark. The biochar is produced by pyrolysing wood (ash, beech or oak) at 450 degrees C for 48 hours. As can be seen from the image, the char retains much of the original structure of the wood, which makes it highly porous, and this porosity is important in determining its properties. The image was recorded by Peter Harris using CfAM's FEI Quanta SEM.

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