News & Events

Last week as Glasgow prepared for COP26 we were busy planting reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea) on our latest phytoremediation trial site. The brownfield site at the former Govan Graving Docks is a stone’s throw away from the venue for the UN Climate Conference and shares its heritage as a brownfield site left derelict from Glasgow’s carbon-intensive maritime industry. Access to the site has been negotiated through Seawater Solutions who are rewilding another part of the site using wetland species, including samphire (Salicornia europaea). The phytoremediation site will be monitored for growth and passive carbon capture capabilities before harvesting biomass for processing into sustainable liquid biofuel.

At the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department of the University of Strathclyde we are using X-ray computed tomography (XCT) to gain a better understanding of the location and nature of contaminants within plants.  This XCT image shows a blade of Reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea), a novel energy grass crop, which has been successfully grown on a historic mine site in the North East of England.

In October the second sampling in the fields of the experimental teaching farm at the University of Tuscia – Viterbo (IT) was carried out and an average of 672.4 kg / ha in dry weight was found. A drone monitoring of the growth of the Phalaris L. was carried out in order to ensure greater precision and better image quality.

CERESiS will participate in the 5th H2020 Biofuels Workshop, an online event organised by CINEA for representatives of H2020 projects dealing with Biofuels.

The goal of the workshop is to bring together all ongoing Biofuels projects so that they can exchange experiences and information, present their project to relevant Commission staff, and explore the possibility of collaboration and synergies regarding project execution, research and dissemination activities.

The event will be fully remote and will take place on the 14th and 15th of October.

The CERESiS concept was presented by the project Co-ordinator (Asst. Prof. Athanasios Rentizelas) at the Renewable Resources and Biorefineries conference, at Aveiro, Portugal, on 7 September 2021. An excellent event involving research from many H2020 projects in the area of bioresources, at last with physical presence.

A photo of the Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass) that was grown for the CERESiS project in the fields of our experimental teaching farm at the University of Tuscia – Viterbo (IT).

The plant, after having passed the tillering phase, is in its stem elongation phase i.e. (id est) the lengthening of the culm's internodes.

Thus far (in its first year), the plant has proved to be not as competitive as our other native grasses; several of the main crop's weeds can be easily identified in the picture.

In late April ’21 reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea) was planted on a partially restored Pb-Zn mine site in NE England using a minimal surface application of PAS100 compost. The site has been monitored on a monthly basis and at the end of June (photo) is showing good germination and establishment on the area seeded. The compost “blanket” approach was selected following the results of previous field trials funded by the UK’s Waste & Resources Action Programme to use compost blankets to establish reed canarygrass on brownfield sites. The idea at the CERESiS trial is to provide a seed bed for germination without needing to disturb potentially contaminated soil by cultivation or incorporation of organic matter, which would also be difficult in these ground conditions.

The 6-month consortium meeting along with the first External Advisory Board (EAB) Workshop of the CERESiS project took place online on the 21st – 22nd of April 2021. 39 representatives from the CERESiS consortium and 8 EAB members actively participated in these activities, by engaging in thorough discussions around the project.

A presentation of the project’s objectives, structure and actual status was given to the EAB members, followed by a roundtable on its progression and future actions. During the 6-month meeting, the consortium members discussed in detail the progress that has been made this far for each activity and work package. This included the review of EU policies related to contaminated land management and biofuels, the analysis of decontamination and separation/cleaning methods and processes and the preparation of sites following the needs of the project.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 101006717.