Rapid extraction of dissolved inorganic carbon from seawater and groundwater samples for radiocarbon dating
Gospodinova, Kalina D.
McNichol, Ann P.
Gagnon, Alan R.
Shah Walter, Sunita R.
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We designed and developed a system to efficiently extract dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) from seawater and groundwater samples for radiocarbon dating. The Rapid Extraction of Dissolved Inorganic Carbon System (REDICS) utilizes a gas-permeable polymer membrane contactor to extract the DIC from an acidified water sample in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2), introduce it to a helium gas stream, cryogenically isolate it, and store it for stable and radiocarbon isotope analysis. The REDICS system offers multiple advantages to the DIC extraction method which has been used for the last several decades at the National Ocean Sciences Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Facility (NOSAMS) at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, including faster DIC extraction, streamlined analysis, and minimized set-up and prep time. The system was tested using sodium carbonate and seawater standards, duplicates of which were also processed on the water stripping line (WSL) at NOSAMS. The results demonstrate that the system successfully extracts, quantifies, and stores more than 99% of the DIC in less than 20 min. Stable and radiocarbon isotope analysis demonstrated system precision of 0.04‰ and 7.8‰, respectively. A Sargasso Sea depth profile was used to further validate the system. The results show high precision for both stable and radiocarbon analysis with pooled standard deviations of 0.02‰ and 5.6‰, respectively. A comparison between the REDICS and WSL analyses indicates a good accuracy for both stable and radio-isotope analysis.
© The Author(s), 2015. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Limnology and Oceanography: Methods 14 (2016): 24-30, doi:10.1002/lom3.10066.
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