ASTM D6866-12 Biobased content determination of solid, liquid and gaseous samples using radiocarbon analysis

ASTM D6866-12 Biobased content determination of solid, liquid and gaseous samples using radiocarbon analysis

ASTM D6866-12 method measures the biobased carbon content of solids, liquids, and gaseous samples using radiocarbon analysis. Specimens containing carbon-based components are tested using this method. This test method is carried out in the presence of oxygen to produce carbon dioxide (CO2) gas after combustion.

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    ASTM D6866-12 method is carried out for gaseous samples generated from electrical utility boilers and waste incinerators to produce carbon-based components.. These standard test methods are used and practised in laboratories to trace the primary carbon isotope standards, and the stated uncertainties are valid. 

    Test Procedure:

    There are three methods to perform this test:-

    Method A by using CO2 Absorption: – Carbon dioxide is released from the sample and absorbed into a Counting solution.

    Method B uses Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) & Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS) techniques: – The sample produces CO2 within a vacuum manifold system where it is ultimately distilled, quantified in a calibrated volume, transferred to a quartz tube, and torch sealed and delivered the stored CO2 to AMA facility for final processing and analysis. 

    Method C uses Liquid scintillation counting (LSC) techniques: – The sample produces CO2 using LSC and then converted to benzene. The test methods described here directly discriminate between product carbon resulting from contemporary carbon input and derived from fossil-based inputs.

    Specimen size:

    Any product containing carbon-based components.


    An acceptable SI unit deviation (tolerance) for the practice of these test methods is ±5%.


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