- Dr Karen Harper, UQ
Biochar is a high-carbon solid residue that is produced from the direct thermal decomposition of lignocellulosic biomass. Biochar can be used to improve the productivity of soils but has also been shown to reduce the production of methane during rumination in cattle and other livestock. As a result, bio-char has widespread potential as a tool to reduce the contribution of animal production to total greenhouse gas emissions.
The project will involve:
- Preparation and characterisation of bio-char from lignocellulosic biomass
- Analysis of the effect of bio-char on the rumen microbiome
- Analysis of the effect of bio-char on the digestion of fodder in the rumen
The student will work with a team of researchers, research assistants, and post-graduate students currently engaged in a Catapult project funded by the Institute for Future Environments in this general research area.
The project aims to understand the relationship between the physical and chemical properties of biochar and the effect of addition of that biochar on the rumen microbiome.
Skills and experience
Students with experience in one or more of the following research areas are encouraged to apply:
- biomass chemistry
- activated carbon chemistry
- rumen microbiology
You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.