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Intercomparison of 14C Analysis of Carbonaceous Aerosols: Exercise 2009

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 February 2016

S Szidat*
Affiliation:
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
G Bench
Affiliation:
Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Livermore, California, USA
V Bernardoni
Affiliation:
Department of Physics, Università degli Studi di Milano & National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN), Milan, Italy
G Calzolai
Affiliation:
National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) and Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Florence, Sesto Fiorentino, Italy
C I Czimczik
Affiliation:
Department of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California, USA
L Derendorp
Affiliation:
Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
U Dusek
Affiliation:
Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
K Elder
Affiliation:
NOSAMS, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA
M E Fedi
Affiliation:
National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) and Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Florence, Sesto Fiorentino, Italy
J Genberg
Affiliation:
Department of Physics, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
Ö Gustafsson
Affiliation:
Department of Applied Environmental Science, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
E Kirillova
Affiliation:
Department of Applied Environmental Science, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
M Kondo
Affiliation:
Center for Environmental Measurement and Analysis, National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Tsukuba, Japan
A P McNichol
Affiliation:
NOSAMS, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA
N Perron
Affiliation:
Department of Physics, Lund University, Lund, Sweden Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Villigen-PSI, Switzerland
G M Santos
Affiliation:
Department of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California, USA
K Stenström
Affiliation:
Department of Physics, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
E Swietlicki
Affiliation:
Department of Physics, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
M Uchida
Affiliation:
Center for Environmental Measurement and Analysis, National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Tsukuba, Japan
R Vecchi
Affiliation:
Department of Physics, Università degli Studi di Milano & National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN), Milan, Italy
L Wacker
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Ion Beam Physics, ETH Hönggerberg, Zurich, Switzerland
Y L Zhang
Affiliation:
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Villigen-PSI, Switzerland
A S H Prévôt
Affiliation:
Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Villigen-PSI, Switzerland
*
3Corresponding author. Email: szidat@iac.unibe.ch.

Abstract

Radiocarbon analysis of the carbonaceous aerosol allows an apportionment of fossil and non-fossil sources of airborne particulate matter (PM). A chemical separation of total carbon (TC) into its subtractions organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) refines this powerful technique, as OC and EC originate from different sources and undergo different processes in the atmosphere. Although 14C analysis of TC, EC, and OC has recently gained increasing attention, interlaboratory quality assurance measures have largely been missing, especially for the isolation of EC and OC. In this work, we present results from an intercomparison of 9 laboratories for 14C analysis of carbonaceous aerosol samples on quartz fiber filters. Two ambient PM samples and 1 reference material (RM 8785) were provided with representative filter blanks. All laboratories performed 14C determinations of TC and a subset of isolated EC and OC for isotopic measurement. In general, 14C measurements of TC and OC agreed acceptably well between the laboratories, i.e. for TC within 0.015–0.025 F14C for the ambient filters and within 0.041 F14C for RM 8785. Due to inhomogeneous filter loading, RM 8785 demonstrated only limited applicability as a reference material for 14C analysis of carbonaceous aerosols. 14C analysis of EC revealed a large deviation between the laboratories of 28–79% as a consequence of different separation techniques. This result indicates a need for further discussion on optimal methods of EC isolation for 14C analysis and a second stage of this intercomparison.

Type
Atmospheric Carbon Cycle
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona 

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