SPEED event – report

Bringing land contaminated by heavy industry is going to be a priority in the future, as we need to address issues surrounding future food production, environmental protection and energy crops.

Symposium discussion

On 19 April 2016, the first International Symposium on Phytoremediation for Energy and Element Developments (SPEED) was held at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in London.

Leading international researchers explored the research challenges of using plant technologies to bring contaminated land back into use. The experts looked at the economic and policy drivers for using this technology to not only clean land, but also ways in which valuable metals currently causing pollution can be reclaimed.

Speakers included Professor Neil Bruce, CNAP Chair in Bioenergy, University of York, Andrew Cundy,  Professor of Geosciences, University of Brighton, Professor Paul Bardos, Adjunct Professor at the  School of Environment and Technology, University of Brighton, Dr Ana Luisa Fernando, Assistant Professor in Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal, Dr Richard Lord, Director of Knowledge Exchange, University of Strathclyde, Dr Phil Longhurst, Reader in Enivronmental Technology at Cranfield University, Dr Ying Jiang and Dr Fred Coulon also from Cranfield University, and Dr Eleni Papazoglou, Agricultural University of Athens. A presentation by Professor Mei Lei, Deputy Director of Environmental Remediation and Resources Engineering Research Center, Chinese Academy of Science was also provided.

Global estimates indicate that there is over 400 million hectares of abandoned land unsuitable for agriculture due to contamination by toxic metals. The symposium brought together leading researchers working in this area to develop a future vision for this sector and discussed the innovative technologies arising from their work.

Presentations from the event can be accessed below:

Recycling and Recovery from contaminated land – Dr Phil Longhurst and Dr Ying Jiang, Cranfield University

Application of Phytoremediation in China – Professor Mei Lei, Chinese Academy of Science

Enhancing Sino-UK Policy Convergence– Dr  Fred Coulon, Cranfield University

Use of energy crops for phytoremediation – Eleni Papazoglou, Agricultural University of Athens

Uk energy crop trials on brownfield sites – Dr Richard Lord, Director of Knowledge Exchange, University of Strathclyde

Production of energy crops on contaminated land – Dr Ana Luisa Fernando, Universidade Nova de Lisboa

Recovering metals for catalysis – Dr Neil Bruce, University of York

Exploring alternative uses for brownfields to unlock sites and maximise their potential– Professor Paul Bardos and Professor Andrew Cundy, University of Brighton