With regard to stack effluents, gas for analysis is obtained directly from the exhaust of continuous emission monitoring systems (CEMS) or with a probe in the stack. Cost per CEMS modification is limited to a few hundred dollars for piping, valves, gas flow controller, and perhaps computer control.
Gas is collected on a continuous basis for a time of interest (e.g. 2 weeks, 1 month), and a single measurement is made on 0.1 liter to 1.0 liter of collected effluent. The result represents a true running average of carbon-neutral vs. greenhouse CO2 emissions.1 The gas is sent to an ASTM D6866 laboratory for analysis, which can be performed in as little as 48 hours.
For details on how to submit samples to Beta Analytic for carbon 14 analysis, see Send Samples.
ASTM D7459-08 encompasses the standard practice for collecting integrated samples for the speciation of biomass-derived carbon (biogenic) and fossil-derived carbon dioxide emitted from stationary emissions sources.
This standard provides specific procedures on how to collect gas samples from stationary emission sources for determination of the ratio of biomass-derived carbon to total carbon (fossil-derived carbon plus biomass or biogenic carbon) in accordance with ASTM D6866.
The gas is captured in a gas bag that is later transported to an off-site radiocarbon dating laboratory for analysis. Only a few gas bags are needed during the course of the year to give a true picture of what was combusted.
You can download the standard in the ASTM website.
ISO/IEC 17025:2005-accredited Beta Analytic provides ASTM D6866 testing. The company does not deal with gas sampling and assumes that samples submitted to its lab have been properly collected according to ASTM D7459. Beta Analytic sample volume requirements and shipping instructions are found here.
1. Manning, M R; Lowe, D C; Melhuish, W H; Sparks, R J; Wallace, G; Brenninkmeijer, C A M; McGill, R C. The use of radiocarbon measurements in atmospheric studies . RADIOCARBON, VOL 32, No. 1, 1990, P 37-58.