This study investigates the accuracy of the radiocarbon-based calculation of the biogenic carbon fraction for different biogas and biofossil gas mixtures. The focus is on the uncertainty in the C-14 reference values for 100% biogenic carbon and on the C-13-based isotope fractionation correction of the measured C-14 values. The separately (AMS) measured CO2 and CH4 fractions of 8 different biogas samples showed C-14 values between 102% and 116% (pMC). The delta C-13 values of these samples varied between -6% and +31% for the CO2 fraction and between -28% and -62% for the CH4 fraction. The uncertainty in calculated biogenic carbon fractions due to uncertainty in the C-14 reference values depends on the available information about the origin of the used biogenic materials. It varies between +/- 0.5% and +/- 3.5% (absolute) depending on the type of biogas. A method is proposed to minimize this uncertainty for different groups of biogases. The calculated biogenic carbon fraction deviates up to +/- 2.5% for biofossil gas mixtures, if the applied isotope fractionation correction is based on the delta C-13 value of the mixed biofossil sample instead of the biogenic delta C-13 value. Combination of both error sources shows that the uncertainty in the calculated biogenic carbon fraction varies between +/- 0.7% and +/- 4.5%, depending on the type of biogas in the sample.
|Number of pages||22|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|
- GRONINGEN AMS FACILITY
- ISOTOPE FRACTIONATION
- METHANOGENIC PATHWAYS