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Centre for Integrated Energy Research

Visit to Rothamsted Research

Members of the Biomass Combustion Research Group made a visit to Rothamsted Research in Hertfordshire in March to meet some of the researchers based there involved in the development of energy crops.

The group were hosted by Ian Shield and Carly Whittaker of the Agroecology Department who have been involved with various collaborative research projects on biomass fuels with ERI in the past. Rothamsted Research are regular suppliers of samples of various energy crop materials to the Biomass Combustion Research Group at Leeds. Such energy crops include short rotation coppice willow (SRC), miscanthus, switchgrass and wheat and barley straw. Rothamsted Research is home to the national willow collection (1,300 different varieties!) and their wheat and barley field is home of the oldest, continuous agronomic experiments in the world.

Blessed with good weather, the visit included excursions around the fields, farm and to a recently started experiment studying outside storage of willow chips. The visit finished off with collection of several bales of straw (for research purposes) which accompanied us back home in the minibus (which was commendably driven by Eddy Mitchell).