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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Postgraduate Courses (School of GeoSciences)

Postgraduate Course: Novel strategies for carbon storage in soil (PGGE11214)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryStudents interested in soils and agriculture currently learn soil processes and function and conventional strategies to managing soil and crop impacts on environment and carbon cycle. Challenges facing global agriculture are explored in Food Security, etc. This course will consider ┐disruptive┐ (transformative) technologies and their potential contribution to the management of future crop production, resource us and carbon storage. This focuses on biochar but also other negative emissions technologies related to soil management, notably carbonation and peat land management. Consideration of biochar and carbonation technologies extends well beyond soils to engineering and aspects of systems and social science. Those approaching the course from the engineering and social science side will learn about agriculture as an engineered natural system (opportunities and challenges).
Course description Course develops broad systems thinking with an emphasis on innovation. This is a perspective important in the area of environment, engineering and agriculture with new technologies deployed in a rapidly changing world.

1. Introduction to engineered soils
2. Biochar system and principles
3. Biochar properties and soil functions
4. Biochar production systems
5. Field visit - UKBRC pyrolysis facilities
6. Biochar systems fit - soils and agriculture
7. Biochar systems fit - biomass and bioenergy
8. Introduction to carbonation
9. Introduction to peat land management
10. Field visit - SRUC field site
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Recognition of transformative land management technology options and their possible future uses;
  2. Frameworks for assessing flexibility, policy context and 'systems fit' in technology deployment;
  3. Deeper understanding of carbon, nutrient and matrix diversity in soil, in relation to associated agriculture, energy and resource systems.
Reading List
*Lehmann, J. and S. Joseph, Eds. (2009) Biochar for Environmental Management: Science and Technology. Earthscan. London
*Lal, R., Kimble, J.M. and Stewart B.A. (1999) Global Climate Change and Pedogenic Carbonates, CRC Press, 300pp
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills *Thinking outside the box (beyond current technology to emergent or transformative technologies);
*System level thinking (understanding the interactions of agriculture with connected systems);
*Innovative thinking and problem solving developed through facilitated group work.
KeywordsSustainable intensification, international development, bioenergy, carbon cycle, greenhouse gases, r
Course organiserDr Saran Sohi
Tel: (0131 6)51 4471
Course secretaryMrs Alice Heatley
Tel: (0131 6)50 4866
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