Find out more about how enhanced rock weathering works as a greenhouse gas removal (GGR) technology.
Enhanced rock weathering (ERW) is a greenhouse gas removal (GGR) technology based on amending agricultural soils with crushed calcium- and magnesium-rich silicate rocks - like basalt, which is usually quarry waste - to accelerate natural CO2 sequestration processes, whilst delivering co-benefits for crop production, food security and soil health.
Our project is a Demonstrator with three large scale flagship field sites, which form one of our five strands (or ‘work packages’). Our five work packages are:
- Field sites for GGR by UK agriculture via ERW
- Measuring weathering rates, CO2 removal and storage
- Public Engagement, Social/Ethical Acceptability and Responsible Innovation
- Sustainable Supply Chain and Scalability Assessments
- Modelling Assessment for UK GGR via ERW
This Demonstrator will provide the first integrated whole system assessment of the science, societal and scalability opportunities and challenges of ERW deployment in UK agriculture. It will assess the potential of ERW to remove up to 10% of the UK’s GGR net zero target by testing its implementation on arable land and the types of grassland which covers 74% of UK utilised agricultural area (around 13 million ha).
As well as removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, potential co-benefits of ERW include:
- improved productivity by reducing excess soil acidity
- resupplying soils with the mineral nutrients they’ve lost, essential for plants
- increased crop resistance to pests and pathogens, via greater silica uptake; and
- reducing soil nitrous oxide fluxes.