ASTM D6866 Biobased Content of Solid, Liquid, and Gaseous Samples Using Radiocarbon Analysis

ASTM D6866 describes standard test methods for determining the biobased content of solid, liquid, and gaseous samples using radiocarbon analysis. This test provides a quantitative measurement of the amount of biobased carbon present in a material or product, allowing manufacturers to determine its renewable and sustainable content. ASTM D6866 discriminates between product carbon resulting from contemporary carbon input and that derived from fossil-based input. The measurement of a product’s 14C/12C or 14C/13C content is determined relative to a carbon based modern reference material.


Introduction to ASTM D6866

ASTM D6866 provides the standard test methods for determining the biobased content of samples. Biobased content refers to the portion of a material or product derived from renewable biological sources, such as plants or biomass. These test methods utilize radiocarbon analysis, which measures the ratio of carbon-14 (C-14) to total carbon (C) in a sample, to determine the biobased content. The results obtained are especially used for quality control and specification purposes. ASTM D6866 provides accurate biobased/biogenic carbon content results to materials whose carbon source was directly in equilibrium with atmospheric CO2 at the time of cessation of respiration or metabolism, such as the harvesting of a crop.

By following ASTM D6866 test method, manufacturers accurately measure the biobased content of their samples, supporting their efforts in producing renewable and sustainable products. This information is valuable for eco-labeling, regulatory compliance, and consumer transparency regarding the environmental impact of materials and products.

ASTM D6866 Test Method

ASTM D6866 test method is given below. Method B utilizes AMS along with Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS) techniques to quantify the biobased content of a given product and Method C uses LSC techniques to quantify the biobased content (with a maximum total error of ±3 %) of a product using sample carbon that has been converted to benzene.

Carbon-14 MeasurementThe ratio of carbon-14 to total carbon (C-14/C) in the sample is determined using radiocarbon analysis techniques, such as accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) or liquid scintillation counting (LSC).
Biobased Content CalculationThe biobased content is calculated based on the measured C-14/C ratio and a known reference standard. The result is expressed as a percentage of biobased carbon in the total carbon content of the sample.

ASTM D6866 Specimens

Specimen detailsSolid, liquid, or gaseous samples are collected and prepared for testing.
Specimen dimensionsThe type of sample and its specific preparation requirements depend on the material or product being evaluated.
Specimen preparationFor solid and liquid samples, combustion is typically performed to convert all carbon in the sample into carbon dioxide (CO2), while gaseous samples require additional treatment.

ASTM D6866 Results

ASTM D6866 test method provides the biobased content values for the tested samples, representing the percentage of carbon derived from renewable biological sources. These results allow manufacturers to quantify and verify the renewable content of their materials or products, supporting their claims of being environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Tests related to ASTM D6866

ASTM D7026 (Standard Guide for Sampling and Data Characterization of Biobased and Synthetic Feedstocks) is a related standard.


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Where can I get the astm d6866 tested?

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