ANSTO Radiocarbon Laboratory: developments to meet the needs of our community

Ms Fiona Bertuch, Mr Alan Williams, Dr Bin Yang, Mr Tan Nguyen, Mr Simon Varley, Dr Geraldine  Jacobsen, Dr Quan Hua

1Ansto, Lucas Heights, Australia

The radiocarbon chemistry laboratories in the Centre for Accelerator Science at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) have a role providing support to AMS measurements for government organisations, industry, and academia in Australia and overseas. Over recent years the radiocarbon laboratories at ANSTO have expanded to support projects that address unique challenges which include environmental issues, the sustainable management of water resources, climate variability, ecological studies, and research into Indigenous heritage. The increase of work in these areas has seen a growing demand for processing samples of groundwater, rock art, ice cores, tree rings and Antarctic mosses.
Here we will present an update of our procedures for processing a diverse range of sample types. We will also describe developments such as an automated dissolved organic carbon (DIC) extraction system for water samples, and our automated AAA pretreatment system.
We will also outline our range of graphitisation systems which include a set of 24 Fe/H2 graphitisation units, 6 microconventional furnace (MCF) Fe/H2 graphitisation lines, a laser heated furnace (LHF) graphitisation system, and an Ionplus AGE-3 graphitisation system (owned by UNSW). Our MCF and conventional graphitisation lines have been designed to handle and reliably produce graphite targets containing as little as 5 µg and 10ugC of carbon (respectively), making the graphitisation of minute carbon samples from rock art and ice cores possible.


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Date

Nov 08 - 19 2021