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ASTM D6866 is the standard test method developed by ASTM International (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials) to determine the biobased carbon/biogenic carbon content of solid, liquid, and gaseous samples using radiocarbon analysis.
Because it can be used to analyze any type of sample, it is recognized to be a very good analytical method for different types of biofuel. Several versions have been published since then – ASTM D6866-04, ASTM D6866-04a, ASTM D6866-05, ASTM D6866-06, ASTM D6866-06a, ASTM D6866-08, ASTM D6866-10, ASTM D6866-11, ASTM D6866-12 and ASTM D6866-16.
ASTM D6866-18 is the current active version of the standard as of March 2018.
The radiocarbon dating method may have started as a tool in archaeology and other fossil studies, but it has now found other applications, notably the quantification of the biogenic fractions in biobased materials.
If the material being analyzed is a mixture of present-day radiocarbon and fossil carbon (which contains no radiocarbon), then the p MC value obtained correlates directly to the amount of bio-diesel present in the sample.
Combining fossil carbon with present-day carbon into a material will result in a dilution of the present-day p MC content.
The pretreatment steps for the two techniques are different, but both involve high-vacuum operations.
Radiometric dating measures the radiation produced from the disintegration of carbon 14 while accelerator mass spectrometry directly measures the concentration of carbon 14 in a sample.If that material was diluted with 50% petroleum derivatives, it would give a radiocarbon signature near 53 p MC.The ASTM D6866 results involve materials provided without any source information.The carbon 14 is continuously lost by radioactive decay, but this is balanced by the continuous production by cosmic rays.All living beings, plant and animal, will have the same concentration of carbon 14.