Soilless cultivation for rapid bioenergy feedstock production

Start date

01 August 2021

End date

31 January 2022


This project will develop a rapid alternative cultivation system for dedicated bioenergy feedstocks. Specifically, it aims to demonstrate how growing crops without the use of soil (aeroponic technology) can be used for rapid feedstock production, and the energy and environmental opportunities and challenges of doing so.

Based on previous research, the University of Surrey have found that growth of willow for bioenergy was faster in soilless conditions, with significantly more biomass produced in the same timeframe. This innovative technology has the potential to deliver bioenergy feedstocks over a smaller land footprint than current field-based cultivation.

Funding amount





Mark Horler

UK Urban AgriTech collective

Lirong Liu

Dr Lirong Liu

University of Surrey

Will Mortimore

Dr Will Mortimore

University of Surrey

Richard Murphy

Professor Richard Murphy

University of Surrey

Research themes

Find out more about our research at Surrey: