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Total Carbon and Inorganic Carbon

This method quantitatively determines the amount of total carbon and inorganic carbon in liquid samples.  For total carbon, the liquid sample is injected by means of the integrated autosampler into the high temperature combustion reactor with an oxidative catalyst.  In this reactor, at the temperature of 850ºC all organic and inorganic carbon is oxidized into the gaseous carbon dioxide (CO2).  The catalyst that is present in the reactor catalyzes the oxidation to completion.  The carbon dioxide is measured at 4.2 um by infrared (IR) detection.  For inorganic carbon, a second injection of the sample is made into the low temperature liquid reactor.  In an acid medium and at room temperature, all inorganic carbon is oxidized to the gaseous carbon dioxide.  The flow of oxygen transports the carbon dioxide to the IR detector to be measured.  The method has a detection limit of 0.5 mg/L.                                        

Sample Amount Requested:  50 mL

Questions concerning limited sample size can be answered by the UC Davis Analytical Laboratory.

American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM International) Standards. Standard Test Method for Total Carbon, Inorganic Carbon, and Organic Carbon in Water by Ultraviolet, Persulfate Oxidation, and Membrane Conductivity Detection.  Designation D 5904 – 02.