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Cranfield University and CL:AIRE, together with partners EPSRC CORE and CL4W projects, are pleased to announce the 1st International Symposium on Phytoremediation for Energy & Element Developments (SPEED), taking place on Tuesday 19 April, 2016 in Westminster, London, UK. 

Remediating contaminated land is a priority to address the trilemma of food production, environmental protection and energy crops. Exploring the production of biofuel feedstocks that are not in competition with food production is of paramount importance to both sectors.

Global estimates indicate there are 385-472 million hectares of abandoned land unsuitable for agriculture due to contamination by, in particular, toxic metals/metalloid elements. Potentially, up to 1,840-2,253 Mtoe (million tonnes of oil equivalent) of energy crops can be grown on this land area, equating ~10% of world total energy production in 2012 with suitable plants. Additionally, this has the potential to address land remediation challenges achieving pollution control and or remediation of contaminated sites.

Expansion of research activities has arisen from commercial interest in the significant scale of this opportunity. There is a plethora of environmental and technological challenges in using contaminated land derived biomass including; plant uptake of the elements, advances in thermochemical biomass conversion, emission of contaminants during energy production processes, and recovery of metal(loid)s by processing solid residuals.

Further research and development adopting a multi-disciplinary approach is needed to exploit improvements in phytoremediation to improve the opportunities for energy production and metal(loid) element recovery.

This first international Symposium on Phytoremediation for Energy & Element Developments (SPEED) brings together leading researchers and policy makers working in this area to discuss the current state-of-the-art, an analysis of future vision for this sector and innovative technologies arising from their work. The aim of the conference is to understand better the research challenges, economic and policy drivers and scope for low cost contaminated land remediation using bioenergy production and metal(loid) element extraction. Our objective is to; facilitate discussion across sectors and disciplines, promote the collaboration between industry and land management developments; and link developing research with policy initiatives.

Join us in this exciting opportunity to link research into phytoremediation land remediation with innovations in energy from biomass and metal(loid) element recovery.