A Highly Portable and Inexpensive Field Sampling Kit for Radiocarbon Analysis of Carbon Dioxide



Garnett MH, Newton J & Parker TC (2021) A Highly Portable and Inexpensive Field Sampling Kit for Radiocarbon Analysis of Carbon Dioxide. Radiocarbon, 63 (4), pp. 1355-1368.

Radiocarbon (14C) analysis of carbon dioxide (CO2) can be extremely useful in carbon cycle studies because it provides unique information that can infer the age and source of this greenhouse gas. Cartridges containing the CO2-adsorbing zeolite molecular sieve are small and highly portable, which makes them more suitable for field campaigns in remote locations compared to some other CO2 collection methods. However, sampling with molecular sieve cartridges usually requires additional equipment, such as an infrared gas analyser, which can reduce portability and pose limitations due to power demands. In addition, 14C analysis of CO2 is increasingly being used in field experiments which require high numbers of replicate CO2 collections, placing extra pressure on an expensive and cumbersome collection apparatus. We therefore designed and built a molecular sieve CO2 sampling kit that utilizes a small, low power CO2 sensor. We demonstrate the reliability of the new kit for the collection of CO2 samples for 14C analysis in a series of laboratory and field tests. This inexpensive sampling kit is small, light-weight, highly portable, and has low power demands, making it particularly useful for field campaigns in remote and inaccessible locations.

carbon dioxide; molecular sieve; radiocarbon; sampling kit

Radiocarbon: Volume 63, Issue 4

FundersNERC Natural Environment Research Council and NERC Natural Environment Research Council
Publication date31/08/2021
Publication date online29/06/2021
Date accepted by journal03/05/2021
PublisherCambridge University Press (CUP)

People (1)


Dr Tom Parker

Dr Tom Parker

Research Fellow, Biological and Environmental Sciences

Projects (1)