Aims and Scope of Short Term Scientific Missions within Biochar COST Action TD1107

The STSM tool aims at stimulating the exchange and foster collaboration between different research and development facilities and institutions in Europe. The STSM tool is also open for applicants within the field of engineering (e.g. studying different pyrolysis technology approaches) communications (e.g. education) or legislation.

The grant is NOT intended as total reimbursement of all costs that may be associated with the research proposed. Rather, it aims at providing the 'catalytic financial energy' to stimulate and generate knowledge, exchange and progress. Furthermore, since it includes an open and rigorous selection procedure, it also represents a quality statement on your application in case you become a grantee.

Want to apply? Frequently Asked Questions with Answers

Check out the latest STSM reports!

Last calls for STSM applications within COST-Action: Biochar for Sustainable Management.

Apply Now: Funding available for STSMs.
Apply Now: Last opportunity within COST Action TD1107 "Biochar". Apply for your short STSM a.s.a.p., and conduct your mission in December 2015, January and/or February 2016. NOTE: The mission must be completed and the report handed in until end of February 2016. ..more

STSM applications open again with new guidelines

Submit your application as soon as possible to start your mission from July 2014
The STSM Committe has issued new guidelines for STSM application procedures and provides all relevant information in the new FAQ section. It is recommended to submit applications as soon as possible in order to begin the STSM from July 2014 onwards. A specific call for the first of two annual application periods will be issued shortly. ..more

Map displaying STSM paths in 2012 and 2013

The map shows past and present STSM paths between COST Action Biochar member institutions in Europe. Blue arrows indicate male STSM candidates, red ones stand for female candidates. A thicker arrow means that the duration of the STSM was longer compared to a thinner arrow. ..more

Guido Fellet: Effects of biochar application on contaminated soils

STSM at UK Biochar Research Centre, University of Edinburgh (UK), Sept- Dec 2013
The main purpose of the STSM was to learn new techniques and new methods of investigations over the effects of the biochar application on contaminated soil, with particular attention to the mobility and availability of inorganic pollutants, i.e. heavy metals. In particular, the research activity aimed at describing the balance between release and adsorption of inorganic... ..more

Wolfram Buss: organic contaminants in biochar and hydrochar

STSM at the Karlsruher Institut für Technology (KIT) and the University of Hohenheim in June 2013
The PhD topic of Wolfram Buss deals with contaminant issues in biochar and involves investigation of heavy metals, PAHs and other organic contaminants in biochar. He started with investigating mobile organic compounds in biochar that are under normal circumstances only produced in small quantities in advanced pyrolysis facilities. This work is important to understand to what... ..more

Martinho António dos Santos Martins: The effects of Biochar concentration in soil on erosion and infiltration

STSM at Institute of Water and Environmental Sciences, Volcani Center, Israel
The purpose of this Short-term Scientfic Mission was to identify the relationships between biochar concentration in soil and erosion of soil and biochar particles, for a sandy loam soil. The ‘perforated tray rotating disc type rainfall simulator’ of the host institute will allow for collecting both the run-off and the water percolated through the soil. The experimental... ..more

José Maria De La Rosa: Assessment of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in biochar-amended Mediterranean agricultural soils

STSM at Agroscope Research Station in Zurich, Switzerland in August 2013
Under the guidance of Dr Thomas Bucheli, José conducted the first experiment dealing with total and bioavailable concentrations of the PAHs released from biochars incorporated into Mediterranean agricultural soils. José and Thomas found that grapevine wood Biochar can be problematic in terms of PAH relase. The STSM initiated strong collaborations between the host and the home... ..more

Alessio Cibati: The potential use of biochars as metal adsorbent for the remediation of wastewater

STSM at SIMBIOS Center, Abertay University in Dundee (UK)
Under the supervision of Dr. Bente Foereid, Alessio Cibati investigated the suitability of biochars produced at different pyrolysis temperatures and from different feedstock to adsorb metals (Cu and Zn) contaminants. The adsorption capacity of biochar produced from Miscanthus x giganteus was tested under varying fundamental parameters (pH, size of particle, effect of chemical... ..more

Effects of biochar amendment on root traits and contaminant availability of maize plants in a copper and arsenic impacted soil

Brennan et al. (2014) Article Published in Plant and Soil
STSM recipient Aoife Brennan published an article in Plant and Soil based on the experiments carried out during her STSM. Her project was dedicated to the investigation of plant ecophysiological responses when using biochar amendments for the remediation of soils co-contaminated with inorganic elements and organic compounds. ..more

Luke Beesley: Ecotoxicity Screening of Biochars for Mine Soil Remediation

STSM at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain
Remediation of heavy metal contaminated soils is costly, and in-situ methods are preferable to avoid large scale engineering and removal of soils. Luke's STSM was a screening exercise designed to predict the usefulness of applying seven biochars to two metal contaminated mine soils; he used a simple petri-dish germination assay of biochars mixed with soils or extracts of water... ..more

Frank Verheijen: Erosion and Pesticide Leaching of Biochar-Amended Soils

STSM at the Volcani Center in Israel, January 2014
Frank Verheijen (University of Aveiro, Portugal) was awarded a 2.5 week STSM to work with Dr. Meni Ben-Hur at the Volcani Center in Israel. Frank's postdoctoral work focuses on how biochar influences soil hydrology, amongst other things. The STSM work hypothesized that previously found increases in infiltration rate were caused by a flocculation effect. ..more

Aoife Brennan, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK

October - December 2012
STSM project: Plant ecophysiological responses when using biochar amendments for the remediation of soils co-contaminated with inorganic elements and organic compounds ..more

Tiziana Pirelli: Interactions between liquid N compounds and Biochar

STSM at Volcani Center, ARO, Israel
The STSM allowed for the establishment of a new research collaboration between the Department of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences of the University of Udine (Italy) and the Institute of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences of the Volcani Center, ARO, in Israel. ..more

Ulrich Hanke: NMR relaxometry on natural porous materials

May to June 2013 in Palermo, Italy
Ulrich Hanke's STSM topic was to study the surface properties of biochar with Fast Field Cycling Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (FFC NMR) relaxometry. His host Pellegrino Conte is an expert for NMR Diffusion (NMRD) on natural porous materials. Together they investigated the nature of interactions between water and biochar. ..more

Martinho Martins: The Effects of Biochar Concentration in Soil on Erosion and Infiltration

STSM at Volcani Center, ARO, Israel
Martinho's personal summary: "With this STSM, I was able to apply and extend my scientific research skills. I was very well received at the Volcani Institute in Israel, and it was a good experience to be closely involved with a different team, to learn other techniques and to use unfamiliar and sophisticated lab equipment. For me personally, the collaboration went better than... ..more