Simon Shackley's research while affiliated with The University of Edinburgh and other places

Publications (199)

Article
Carbon Capture and Storage at industrial processes (industrial CCS) is expected to play an important role in reducing industrial CO2 emissions in the short term. Industrial CCS involves capturing CO2 from industrial processes, such as steel and cement making, and storing the CO2 underground. This study examined the public opinion of industrial CCS...
Article
The provision of climate services for assessing and governing environmental problems such as poor air quality requires interactions between scientists and decision-makers. Air quality information services in China mainly focus on the coming days to weeks. However, users may benefit from air quality information on climate time-scales—from months to...
Article
Carbon dioxide Capture and Storage (CCS) is considered a key strategy for decarbonising industries which have limited options for tackling CO2 process emissions. Previous efforts to develop CCS projects have been thwarted by adverse public perceptions amongst other issues. Understanding and tracking public perceptions prior to project development i...
Article
Full-text available
Societal opposition has the potential to slow down the implementation of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). One of the difficulties is that the perceived benefits associated with a CCS facility for local communities tend to be low compared to its perceived burdens. As is the case for other low carbon technologies, community compensation (or communit...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Biochar, the final product of pyrolysis of biomass, can be used as a soil amendment to increase plant growth, yield, improve water quality, increase soil moisture retention and availability to plants, reduce soil emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), reduce leaching of nutrients, reduce soil acidity, and reduce irrigation and fertilizer requirement...
Article
Air quality in China is a major public health, social and economic concern. Air pollution governance and research in China have been increasingly active in the past decade, especially since 2013 when strict emission controls were implemented. Such emission control policies have been informed through dialogue between scientists and policy-makers on...
Article
Research has indicated that the legal maximum annual-average concentration of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) for safe long-term exposure in the European Union and United Kingdom (40 μg/m³) may not offer adequate protection and that a lower value may be needed. At the same time concerns have been raised in the UK about government methods to assess NO2 for t...
Article
There has been a growing trend towards incorporating short, educational films as part of research funding and project proposals. Researchers and developers in CO2 capture and storage are using films to communicate outcomes, but such films can be influenced by experiences and values of the producers. We document the content and presentation of seven...
Article
Full-text available
It is a relatively new concept to use biochar as soil amendment and for climate change mitigation. For this reason, the national and supranational legislation in the EU is not yet adequately prepared to regulate both the production and the application of biochar. Driven by this “regulatory gap”, voluntary biochar quality standards have been formed...
Chapter
Full-text available
Escalating greenhouse gas emissions are influenced by anthropogenic activities and have taken climate change issues to global forums. Pressure on already stressed energy, water provision, and management infrastructure including flood risks has mounted. Soil degradation, alkalinity, wastewater and solids management, trace metals and nutrient deficie...
Article
Small-scale distributed gasification can provide energy access for low-carbon sustainable development, though current understanding of the economic and environmental performance of the technology relies mostly on assumption-heavy modeling studies. Here we report a detailed empirical assessment and uncertainty estimation for four real-world gasifica...
Article
Beef and sheep products represent the largest emitters of greenhouse gases within the meat group. One way of encouraging Scottish households to substitute purchasing lower carbon footprint meat products such as chicken is through a carbon consumption tax. In this article, the effects of such a tax were studied using a dynamic per capita error corre...
Chapter
Full-text available
In the late 2000s, when the biochar euphoria was at its highest, the breakthrough from biochar research and development to large-scale implementation into farmers’ practice seemed imminent. The story about improving soil fertility, ecosystem services and saving the climate all at once added up to a convincing win-win-win narrative. In principle, th...
Chapter
The primary function of agricultural soils is for food, feed, fibre and fuel production. Management measures in agricultural soils should therefore focus on improving and/or sustaining this function, in both the short and long term in a sustainable manner. Both agricultural crop production and crop quality are closely linked to soil quality (i.e. s...
Article
The gasification of rice husks for small-scale power generation in rice mills and other small factories in Cambodia has spread rapidly in the past decade and has a favourable investment payback period where the facility is off-grid. The technology is widely regarded as a sustainable, low-carbon power option. However, installed gasification technolo...
Article
Full-text available
Biomass can deliver significant greenhouse gas reductions in electricity, heat and transport fuel supply. However, our biomass resource is limited and should be used to deliver the most strategic and significant impacts. The relative greenhouse gas reduction merits of different bioenergy systems (for electricity, heat, chemical and biochar producti...
Article
Preston's (2011) challenge to the moral presumption against geoengineering is applied to carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) in Scotland, United Kingdom. Qualitative data is analysed to assess if and how Preston's arguments play out in practice. We argue that the concepts of 'lesser evil' and prioritising human well-being over non-interference...
Article
This paper explores the social dimensions of an experimental release of carbon dioxide (CO2) carried out in Ardmucknish Bay, Argyll, United Kingdom. The experiment, which aimed to understand detectability and potential effects on the marine environment should there be any leakage from a CO2 storage site, provided a rare opportunity to study the soc...
Article
In this paper we explore the potential of a framework of ethical governance for low-carbon energy. Developing mainly in the field of information and communications technology, ethical governance is concerned with the marginalisation of ethical and moral issues during development and deployment of new technologies. Focusing on early carbon dioxide c...
Article
Full-text available
China has developed ambitious bioenergy installation targets as part of its broader goals to increase its renewable energy generating capacity and decarbonise its economy. A key target feedstock for bioenergy is the 800 million tonnes of agricultural residues that China produces each year. At present the main financial incentive to support bioenerg...
Article
Full-text available
This paper summarizes the work on the social dimension conducted within the EU FP7 SiteChar project. The most important aim of the research was to advance public awareness and draw lessons for successful public engagement activities when developing a CO2 storage permit application. To this end, social site characterization (e.g. representative surv...
Technical Report
A laboratory-based analysis of 9 biochar samples from Cambodia, Laos and Viet Nam (rice husk, rice straw, bamboo, Acadia, corn cobs), including toxicants, recalcitrant carbon, H/C and O/C ratios, nutrients (total) and plant-available nutrients (using leaching column experiments). Also includes X-ray Diffraction (XRD) studies to identify and quantif...
Article
Available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcbb.12220/full China is under pressure to improve its agricultural productivity to keep up with the demands of a growing population with increasingly resource-intensive diets. This productivity improvement must occur against a backdrop of carbon intensity reduction targets, and a highly fra...
Article
Full-text available
Biochar has garnered much attention for its potential to improve farming productivity and sustainability by amending soil, enhancing crop yields, improving fertilizer use efficiency and sequestering carbon. However, few publications consider farmer perspectives on whether biochar is attractive as an agricultural input. This paper therefore investig...
Article
This paper presents the results of a large group process conducted in Edinburgh, Scotland investigating public perceptions of climate change and low-carbon energy technologies, specifically carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS). The quantitative and qualitative results reported show that the participants were broadly supportive of efforts to red...
Article
At present, there is limited understanding of how biochar application to soil could be beneficial to crop growth in temperate regions and which biochar types are most suitable. Biochar’s (two feedstocks: willow, pine; three pyrolysis temperatures: 450 °C, 550 °C, 650 °C) effect on nitrogen (N) availability, N use efficiency and crop yield was studi...
Book
The study investigated stakeholder perceptions of information on CCS - including those of science writers and journalists, policy makers and commercial organisations with an interest in CCS and specialists in science communication. Based upon these findings, a set of 14 Briefing Notes (each 2500 to 4000 words in length) were prepared and appropriat...
Data
1. Summary of Main Points Our submission focuses upon public perceptions of, and engagement with, CCS. This issue has risen in importance since proposed CCS projects at Barendrecht (Netherlands), Beeskow (Germany) and Greenville (USA) stumbled in large part due to public opposition. The proposed Hunterston power plant + partial CCS development in S...
Article
Environmental Models: Truth Machines or Social Heuristics? Explores whether environmental, computation models are best regarded as simulating reality ('truth machines') or as 'heuristics' that provide an approximate and conditional understanding of the system being simulated that can be used as basis for dialogue between stakeholders and the resear...
Data
The Biochar Quality Mandate (BQM) is a proposed 'quality protocol' approach to the comprehensive regulation and risk assessment of biochar (either as a product or as a component of other products) for possible application in the United Kingdom taking account of UK and EU laws, regulations, quality protocols and guidelines.
Chapter
Carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and storage has significant climate change mitigation potential, yet has struggled to gain public acceptance. For it to become socially acceptable, underlying ethical issues need to be addressed. This involves engaging the public in ways that keep the terms of discussion open, that allow a range of possible outcomes, an...
Data
This reports consists of an analysis of the information needs of stakeholders, policy makers and members of the public regarding CO2 capture and storage (CCS). 13 information sheets are then provided which are intended to provide an objective, up-to-date account of a wide spectrum of CCS topics - basic concepts and rationale, technology, geology, e...
Article
Full-text available
The European Biochar Certificate (EBC) has been developed by biochar scientists to become the voluntary European industrial standard. The EBC ensures a sustainable biochar production and low hazard use in agronomic systems. It is based on the latest scientific data, it's economically viable and close to technical and agricultural practice. Users of...
Data
Evidence submitted to the UK Parliament's Energy & Climate Change Committee enquiry into the status and development of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in the UK. The evidence presented reviews the potential role of biochar in meeting UK carbon mitigation targets and notes the particular features of biochar that make it attractive such as improving...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this research was to extend an Australian developed large group process which proved effective in engaging the general public on issues related to climate change, energy technologies, and the overall shift towards a low carbon society. The results from Australia, the Netherlands, Canada and Scotland found that in each of the geographic l...
Article
Full-text available
This paper argues that a focus on values, trust and context is vital to build a fuller understanding of public perceptions of carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS). Empirical data from interviews conducted in the UK and Italy as part of the EU FP7-funded ECO2 project is presented to illustrate how publics and stakeholders often evaluate the geol...
Article
Full-text available
Public support has proven crucial to the implementation of CO2 capture and storage (CCS) demonstration projects. Whereas no method exists to guarantee local public acceptability of any project, a constructive stakeholder engagement process does increase the likelihood thereof. Social site characterisation can be used as an instrument to plan and ev...
Technical Report
A biomass assessment to identify total potential agri-residues from plants and animal wastes for the three countries included in the ADB's project (TA-7833) on biomass, bioenergy and biochar - Cambodia, Viet Nam and Laos. It includes a review of potential energy generation from such agri-residues and challenge in utilising such.
Article
Full-text available
The effect of rice-husk char (potentially biochar) application on the growth of transplanted lettuce (Lactuca sativa) and Chinese cabbage (Brassica chinensis) was assessed in a pot experiment over a three crop (lettuce-cabbage-lettuce) cycle in Cambodia. The biochar was the by-product of a rice-husk gasification unit and consisted of 28.7% carbon (...
Article
Background: There is a lack of biochar field trials in temperate climate regions. Wood biochar was applied during 2009–2011 to seven field experiments on five working farms in the UK, for arable, legume, horticultural and root crops. Results: Three trials showed no significant (p > 0.05) effect on crop yield, two showed positive effects of 5–6%, on...
Data
This deliverable describes the task of making available generic and site-specific information about the SiteChar activities regarding the site explorations to the general public as well as to the local public at the Scottish site and at the Polish site. Generic and site-specific information have been made available to the general and local public t...
Data
Full-text available
This document is produced as an output of Work Package 6 of the project “ECO2 - Sub-seabed CO2 storage: Impact on Marine Ecosystems”. This is a large scale integrating collaborative project funded by the European Commission (EC) FP7 work program topic OCEAN.2010.3 Sub-seabed carbon storage and the marine environment. (http://www.eco2-project.eu/)...
Data
Aims to apply Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) methods to assessing the risks of applying biochar to soils in the UK context. This was conducted as part of the Biochar Risk Assessment Framework project funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation of the UK.
Chapter
Full-text available
Biochar is the solid remains of any organic material that has been heated to at least 350oC in a zero-oxygen or oxygen-limited environment, which is intended to be mixed with soils. If the solid remains are not suitable for addition to soils, or will be burned as a fuel or used as an aggregate in construction, it is defined as char not biochar. The...
Data
Full-text available
This deliverable presents results from public engagement activities designed to raise public awareness and inform public opinion in Poland and the UK using a participation tool called “focus conferences.”
Article
Provides an introduction and overview to the Special Issue on CO2 capture and storage and provides insights from political and policy sciences on ways of analysing and understanding contemporary CCS development, barriers, policies and implications
Article
Full-text available
Pyrolysis biochar systems (PBS) could assist in meeting the Scottish Government's target of a 42% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 relative to 1990. Drawing on literature review of land use and biomass availability in Scotland at present and in the future, and using established life cycle assessment models, we find that biochar could c...
Book
An edited collection of social science perceptions on CO2 capture and storage, focusing upon governance, public policy, innovation processes, public perceptions, epistemic communities, social learning and risk assessment.
Data
Full-text available
This report describes the outcomes of a large group process workshop held in Edinburgh, Scotland on 24 September 2011. The one-day workshop was designed to investigate Scottish citizens’ perspectives on climate change and low-carbon energy technologies, with a particular focus on carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS). The report presents the lar...
Article
This paper presents a computer based simulation model which analyses the dynamics of public perceptions of risk using Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) ('mad cow disease') in the UK as a case study. The model is based upon a theoretically-derived understanding of the concept of perception of risk, and employs Cultural Theory and the archetypes...