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Single step Production of graphite from organic Samples for Radiocarbon Measurements

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 November 2019

K L Elder*
Affiliation:
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543USA
M L Roberts
Affiliation:
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543USA
T Walther
Affiliation:
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543USA University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469USA
L Xu
Affiliation:
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543USA
*
*Corresponding author. Email: kelder@whoi.edu.

Abstract

We present a new low-cost, high-throughput method for converting many types of organic carbon samples into graphite for radiocarbon (14C) measurements by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). The method combines sample combustion and reduction to graphite into a single procedure. In the Single Step method, solid samples are placed directly into Pyrex containing zinc, titanium hydride and iron catalyst. The tube is evacuated, flame sealed, and placed in a muffle furnace for 7 hr. A variety of organic samples have been tested including oxalic acid, sucrose, wood, peat, collagen, humic acid, and contamination swipe samples. The method significantly reduces the time required to produce a graphite sample for 14C measurement, with analytical precision and accuracy approaching that of traditional two-step combustion and hydrogen reduction methods. The details and applicability of the method are presented.

Type
Conference Paper
Copyright
© 2019 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona 

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Footnotes

Selected Papers from the 23rd International Radiocarbon Conference, Trondheim, Norway, 17–22 June, 2018

References

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