For more than a decade, the Center for Applied Isotope Studies has developed and applied methods and analytical techniques for the emerging field of biobase product determination and biofuel content. Biobase products are those derived from renewable resources such as sugar cane, rapeseed, corn and other biogenic materials rather than from fossil-fuels such as petroleum, coal or natural gas. CAIS has the capability to perform two types of radioanalytical procedures for measuring the carbon present in biobased samples in accordance with the current ASTM Method D6866. These methods include accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). Find out more about our Biobase Analytical Services here.

Recent biobase research at CAIS includes comparative analysis of disparate radiocarbon methods in biobase product determinations (Culp et al. 2014; Noakes et al. 2006). Culp and colleagues (2014) found that Accelerator Mass Spectrometry is the most precise technique for measuring apportionment of biobase-derived additives to gasoline. Culp (2015) demonstrates that the stable isotope analysis and radiocarbon methods in authenticating foods flavors, biobase fuels, and other products can be improved through analytical techniques such as gas chromatography (GC) and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Coupling these methods increases the ability to detect fraudulent materials. Culp and Noakes (2009) demonstrate methodological improvements in the conversion of organic carbon to carbon dioxide as well as improvements in pretreatment techniques to preferentially remove inorganic carbon from organic containing products. Please see below for a list of recent contributions from the CAIS Biobase research team.


Biobased Research Contributions from CAIS

Culp, R.A. 2015. Conformation of Botanical or Bio-based Materials by Radiocarbon and Stable Isotope Ratio Analysis. In K. Reynertson and K. Mahmoud, eds., Cat. K20888 – Botanicals: Methods and Techniques for Quality & Authenticity. Taylor & Francis Group, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida. 125–142.

Culp, R., A. Cherkinsky and G.V.R. Prasad, 2014. Comparison of Radiocarbon Techniques for the Assessment of Biobase Content in Fuels. Applied Radiation and Isotopes 93:106-109.

Culp, R.A., J.E. Noakes, D.R. Smith, L. Greenway, F.S. Smith, and B.K. Markowicz, 2011. Biobased Product Determination by ASTM Method 6866-08 using Liquid Scintillation Counting and Benzene Synthesis: Progress and Performance in an Expanding Market. In LSC 2010: Advances in Liquid Scintillation Spectrometry, pp. 23-34, edited by P. Cassette. Paris.

Culp, R. A. and J. E. Noakes, 2009. Evaluation of Biobased Content ASTM Method 6866-06A: Improvements Revealed by Liquid Scintillation Counting, Accelerator Mass Spectrometry and Stable Isotopes for Products Containing Inorganic Carbon. In LSC 2008: Advances In Liquid Scintillation Spectrometry, pp. 269-278, edited by J. Eikenberg, M.Jaggi, H. Beer, H. Baehrle. Tucson.

Noakes, J.E., A. Cherkinsky, and R.A. Culp, 2011. Comparative Radiocarbon Analysis for Artificial Mixes of Petroleum and Biobased Products. In LSC 2010: Advances in Liquid Scintillation Spectrometry, pp. 15-21, edited by P. Cassette. Paris.

Noakes, J., G. Norton, R. Culp, M. Nigam, and D. Dvoracek, 2006. A Comparison of Analytical methods For the Certification of Biobased Products. Proceedings of LSC 2005: Advances in Liquid Scintillation Counting, October 2005, Katowice, Poland.