Carbon dating technology

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A new analysis technology has been approved that can determine the renewable fraction of mixed waste treated by energy recovery.

The technology is based on carbon dating, and distinguishes between co2 emissions created from fossil sources and those from renewables. It does this by measuring the different levels of carbon14 (14C) isotopes they contain.Carbon 14 is a radioactive isotope of carbon with a nucleus containing 6 protons and 8 neutrons, it is the basis of carbon dating pioneered by Willard F. Libby in 1949 to date archeological, geological and hydrogeological samples.

This technology will be a major boost to energy-from-waste operators. According to the National Non Food Crops Centre (NNFCC) finding a solution that can determine the renewable fraction of energy-from-waste installations has been a major stumbling block for the industry.

The NNFCC is the UK's National centre for Biorenewable Energy, Fuels and Materials.

Sources: edie July 2011, NNFCC. 14

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