Set-up, optimization and first set of samples at the radiocarbon laboratory in Lebanon
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Lebanese Atomic Energy Commission-National Council for Scientific Research, P.O. Box 11-8281, Riad El Solh, Beirut, Lebanon
Faculty of Sciences, Chemistry Department, Beirut Arab University, P.O.Box 11 — 50 — 20, Riad El Solh, Beirut, Lebanon
Online publication date: 2013-12-20
Publication date: 2014-03-01
Geochronometria 2014;41(1):87-91
A new radiocarbon laboratory has been established recently at the Lebanese Atomic Energy Commission. This laboratory consists of benzene synthesis line and a low background liquid scintillation counter, Tri-Carb 3180 TR/SL for measurements with Bismuth Germanate (BGO) guard detector. The effectiveness of the benzene line was tested firstly by preparing benzene from a wood sample after carbide and acetylene receiving. Normalization and standardization of the liquid scintillation counter was carried out, as well as the Factor of Merit (E2/B) was determined for three different counting regions. To assure accuracy and reliability of results, reference materials were used. Based on z-score and u-score evaluation, as well as Student’s t-test, acceptable data were obtained from travertine and wood samples available through the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA-C2 and IAEA-C5), and humic acid (U) and murex shell (R) from the Fifth International Radiocarbon Intercomparison (VIRI). After that, a preliminary study was done, which is the base for future research in order to assess the anthropogenic impact and degree of environmental pollution in terms of radiocarbon isotope ratio (Δ14C) deduced from the Percent Modern Carbon or PMC. This work represents the results of four reference materials and those of five green grass samples. The Δ14C of green grass samples collected from two different clean zones were found to be 50‰ and 52‰, while the values of those collected from different polluted zones were 23‰, 7‰ and 15‰.
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