All of our residual profits are used to fund our Social Enterprise aims. We create and assist with creating new projects that have the aim of benefiting the environment and reducing carbon emissions.
We look to support the bio-economy which in turn reduces CO2 emissions, provides people with work, supports innovation, reduces our need on the import market as well as creating a better environment.
We want to hear from you!
We are looking for more innovative & exciting projects to support. If you are in the looking for new ways in which you might be able to use Miscanthus then we are the perfect match!
If you are any of the below, we would love to hear from you!
- Working in the arts, creative, innovation, engineering industries?
- Start up business?
- PHD student and are looking for opportunities?
Why we work with Miscanthus...The benefits are clear!
Over the past twenty years it has become apparent that the benefits Miscanthus can have to Climate Change are huge but we recognise that this is a relatively new crop/material so awareness is reasonably low.
We have watched the Bamboo industry rise over the past years and it's important to know that the benefits of Bamboo and its uses are very similar to Miscanthus but the major benefit over bamboo is that Miscanthus Giganteus is non-invasive.
We are passionate about Miscanthus and the benefits of using this to create new products as alternatives to traditional materials are clear:
Renewable & Sustainable – after the initial establishment year, Miscanthus is re-harvested year after year. Compare this to trees that take around 25-40 years to mature.
Non-Toxic - Miscanthus is a naturally hardy plant with no natural pests or diseases, so it can be grown without chemical intervention, making it virtually organic.
CO2 Sequestration - an average Miscanthus yield per hectare can absorb c. 21 tonnes of CO2 per year, which can make it an important planet stabiliser.
Soil Regenerator - Miscanthus can be used to ‘repair’ soil damaged from overgrazing and poor agricultural practices by increasing soil carbon content. The roots stay in place after harvesting, and retain nutrients for the next growth cycle, whilst eliminating soil erosion.
Non-invasive - Miscanthus Giganteus is non-invasive sterile hybrid (it doesn't spread)
Deforestation support - Miscanthus requires very few nutrients to grow so it thrives in depleted soil, making it a viable solution to some of the problems associated with deforestation.
Our projects fall under five categories:
- Crop Advancement
Here are just some that we are working on:
We will plant 23,000 hectares of Elephant Grass in line with the recommendations of the Climate Change Committee report on land use 2020, whilst enabling and supporting new community-based bio-economy projects. This reflects just one year of their 30 year target.
We are keen to ensure the highest yield possible through advanced techniques made possible through quality Research and Development.
Working closely with Dr Paul Carver we are assured of the best advice for establishing and maintaining the crop advancement, Paul say's:
Miscanthus is an amazing crop, producing high yields of high quality biomass above ground, and at the same time actively removing CO2 from the atmosphere and locking it underground for sequestration.
We are currently assessing the potential of producing textiles from Elephant Grass (Miscanthus) using environmentally friendly techniques. Currently we are investigating a means of splitting the fibres to produce a Lyocell or similar material. Further updates to follow on this exciting way forward in providing sustainable textile production here in the UK.
Alternatives to Plastics (Bio Plastics)
Bio-plastics are already created in some parts of the world and the industry is growing fast. Demand for traditional fossil resourced alternatives are high.
Miscanthus based bio-plastics are a clear solution:
- Looks natural
We are working closely with Dr. Nick Cheffins on this project who makes this comment:
Elephant grass is becoming recognised as a potential source of ‘second generation sugars’ which can be used by special bacteria to synthesise the building units for bio-plastics.
We would like to support projects that are looking to create bio-plastics as alternatives.
Uses include packaging material for food & non-food products, marketing materials and printed products like business & compliment cards, flyers, brochures, labels, notebooks, letters and envelopes.
- Looks Natural
- Food safety approved
- Strong and recyclable
- Suitable for printing
- Long Life Span
- pH Neutral and Acid free
We are keen to support projects that will produce packaging from Elephant Grass fibres.
Creation of Miscrete
We have been working with Exeter University to develop a concrete alternative for construction. Affectionately named as “miscrete” the project is based around removing the need for Portland Cement and replacing it with more environmentally friendly binders. Blocks, panels and insulation are amongst the possibilities with this project.
Working closely with Dr Lele Vinai, Lecturer in Civil Engineering ("Lele") we are getting closer to creating something that will benefit the environment and Climate Change in a very positive way.
Below is a quick quote from Lele.
The potential offered by the use of Miscanthus fibres in building materials is extraordinary. At the University of Exeter, we are researching the best combinations of Miscanthus fibres and low carbon binders for a range of applications, from lightweight blocks for thermal and acoustic insulation, to multi-functional and smart composites, for harvesting the full benefit of this material.
Bio-masses are a key strategic resource for a zero carbon future. According to the UK Green Building Council, the construction, demolition and excavation sectors in UK account for 60% of material use and waste generation. At European level, buildings are responsible for 40% of our energy consumption and 36% of greenhouse gas emissions.
The development of building materials from renewable vegetal resources is a key step in a low-carbon transition for the built environment, as it avoids the depletion of mineral raw materials, while capturing and storing significant amount of CO2 in building elements, as well as improving the building energy performance due to their enhanced insulation properties.