CARBONMAV

Financing contract no.: PD146 / 2018

Project No.: PN-III-P1-1.1-PD-2016-0532

Project implementation period: 10.10.2018 – 09.10.2020


Fast and reliable method for radiocarbon measurements in air and vegetation – CARBONMAV


Summary

Proposed project „Fast and reliable method for radiocarbon measurements in air and vegetation (CARBONMAV)” fits into current research in the field of radiocarbon measurements.
There are three recognized methods for 14C measurements:

  • accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS);
  • benzene method
  • direct absorption method

AMS and benzene method are well-known and reliable methods, the first technique being very accurate but highly expensive, while the second is very demanding. For the third approach CO2 produced from the sample is directly absorbed into a suitable cocktail and counted by Liquid Scintillation Spectrometry without any further manipulation. The method is simple, safe, and results in significantly reduced analysis time and cost as compared to the traditional methods.

The overall goal of CARBONMAV is the development of fast and reliable method for radiocarbon measurements in air and vegetation. The elements of originality will be related to the direct absorption method developments for small quantities of CO2.

The use of essential oils for uncertainty quantification and validation procedure is another originality element. Other novelty of the project is the use of a home-made liquid scintillation cocktail and due to the constant increase of the price for 2-methoxyethilamine, it is foreseen to investigate other cheaper alternatives, that can promote a new receipt of the home-made liquid scintillation cocktail.

In the context of climate change the assessment of the fossil fuel derived CO2 component in atmosphere very important. Can be used time-integrated observations of the radiocarbon content of CO2 to quantify the recently added fossil fuel derived CO2 component at surface sites surrounding a point source. Further can be developed an energy independent device based renewable energy which can be used in places where electricity is not available (e.g. forest) imperative for background sites without the influence of the fossil fuel derived CO2 component.

Project Team

Project leader: PhD. Phys. FAURESCU Alexandru Ionut
 orcid.org/0000-0001-9811-5751

National Research and Development Institute for Cryogenics and Isotopic Technologies – ICSI Rm. Valcea; Pilot Plant for Tritium and Deuterium Separation (PESTD)- ICSI Nuclear          (https://erris.gov.ro/ICSI_PILOT).

Mentor: Prof. PhD. DULIU Octavian-Gheorghe
orcid.org/0000-0003-4626-5920

University of Bucharest, Faculty of Physics, Department of Atomic and Nuclear Physics

Objective

The objective of the project is to develop a fast and reliable method for radiocarbon measurements in air and vegetation. Due to the versatility of the proposed method, the goal is that this method to be applied in many areas, such as assessing the environmental impact of burning fossil fuels or nuclear activities.

Expected results

1. Assessment of the direct absorption method uncertainty and its contribution to the uncertainty budget of the radiocarbon measurements by liquid scintillation method;

2. Construction and optimization of a device for absorption of atmospheric CO2 using static and dynamic conditions into sodium hydroxide solution;

3. Optimization of a purification and bubbling line for direct absorption of CO2 in home-made scintillation cocktail. Beyond the various processes of obtaining CO2 (either by acidification of the sodium hydroxide solution were atmospheric CO2 has been fixed, or by combustion in oxygen atmosphere of the wild vegetation sample) it is essential determination of the optimum volume of sample in order to avoid isotopic fractionation;

4. Monthly variation of C-14 activity in the air and the wild vegetation at ICSI Rm. Valcea for 12 months period. Correlations between C-14 activity in the air and the wild vegetation.

5. Dissemination

Budget

Total budget: 250.000,00 RON

Budget allocation by stages (in RON):

Stage 1: Assessment of the direct absorption method uncertainty and its contribution to the uncertainty budget of the radiocarbon measurements by liquid scintillation method
Total budget
31.250,00

Stage 2: Assessment of the direct absorption method uncertainty and its contribution to the uncertainty budget of the radiocarbon measurements by liquid scintillation method (cont.). Construction and optimization of the CO2 absorption device and of the CO2 purification and bubbling line
Total budget
116.250,00

Stage 3: Monthly variation of 14C activity in the air and the wild vegetation at ICSI Rm. Valcea
Total budget
102.500,00

Project progress: public results & dissemination

Public results

Stage 1: Stage 1 Report

Stage 2:

Stage 3:

Disemination

Manuscripts published in per review ISI journals

Scientific manifestations

Ionut Faurescu, Octavian Duliu, Carmen Varlam, Denisa Faurescu, Irina Vagner, Diana Costinel,
Comparison of two air sampling methods for determination of the radiocarbon level in the atmosphere,
poster: link

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