What is RockFACE?
With RockFACE, we are evaluating ERW with food and fuel crops under elevated CO2 in real-world environmental and management conditions of the most productive growing region in the world.
RockFACE is a unique field enhanced rock weathering (ERW) trial in Illinois, U.S., within the Leverhulme Centre for Climate Change Mitigation, a ten-year project that studies enhanced rock weathering for greenhouse gas removal.
Rock FACE is our state-of-the-art Free-Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment (FACE) ERW trial with a soybean/maize rotation in collaboration with Dr Lisa Ainsworth and the United States Department of Agriculture, SoyFACE, here. It recognises and leverages the power of FACE technology to grow plants at an elevated CO2 atmosphere forecast for later this century under fully open-air conditions with/without ERW treatment (crushed basalt).
With RockFACE, we are evaluating ERW with food and fuel crops under elevated CO2 in real-world environmental and management conditions of the most productive growing region in the world. This field site replicates intensive arable farming as it applies to 60 million hectares of croplands in the Corn Belt of North America.
RockFACE uses FACE technology to examine how increased atmospheric CO2 will affect crops and their interactions enhanced rock weathering processes.
How it works
In the centre of each FACE ring, an anemometer measures wind direction and velocity, and an infrared gas analyzer measures the atmospheric CO2 concentration. Micropores in a segmented tube running around the circumference of the ring release CO2 according to the wind direction, based on computer controlled feedback regulation. The computer ensures release of more or less gas from the ring, with the goal of keeping the measured gas concentration at a constant target level of enrichment 600 ppm).