The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) Technical Committee CEN/TC 411 has published EN 16640:2017: Bio-based products – Bio-based carbon content – Determination of the bio-based carbon content using the radiocarbon method. CEN had previously published technical specifications also based on the radiocarbon content of biobased materials.
There are three test methods specified in CEN/TS 16640 for measuring radiocarbon content – liquid scintillation counting (LSC), beta-ionization (BI), and accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). Under EN 16640, the biobased carbon content of a material is expressed as a fraction of sample mass or as a fraction of the total carbon content. This calculation method is applicable to any product containing organic carbon, including biocomposites.
EN 16640:2017 supersedes technical specification CEN/TS 16640 which was developed in 2014. The standard was ratified in December 2016 and made available in February 2017. CEN published European Standard EN 16640 in August 2017.
The CEN/TS 16640 is similar to previously released technical specifications CEN/TS 16137 and CEN/TS 16295, which were published by a technical committee focused on plastics. These three technical specifications are based on radiocarbon analyses. CEN/TS 16640 is applicable to all biobased products whereas the other two are only applicable to plastics and polymers.
CEN/TS 16137 provides reference test and calculation methods for determining the biobased carbon content of plastics and other polymers that contain organic carbon.
CEN/TS 16295 provides requirements for the declaration, including statements and labels, of the biobased carbon content of polymers, plastic materials, semi-finished plastic products, and finished plastic products, including composites.
Technical Committee CEN/TC 411 is currently working on other specifications and reports. In July 2017, the committee ratified EN 16766:2017: Bio-based solvents – Requirements and test methods which supersedes CEN/TS 16766:2015. This standard sets the requirements for bio-based solvents in terms of their bio-based content, their technical properties and test methods.
ISO/IEC 17025:2005-accredited Beta Analytic measures the biobased carbon content of a material through AMS. Compared to the other two methods specified in CEN/TS 16640, AMS analysis is more accurate with standard deviation as low as 0.1%.
Based in Miami, Florida, Beta Analytic accepts samples throughout Europe via its forwarding office in London, UK.
Beta Analytic supports Europe’s biobased industry by providing high-quality biobased carbon content measurements. The company is not affiliated with the CEN or any of its technical committees.
Last Update: November 2017