C-14 handling for experts

14CO2 can be adsorbed at room temperature on stainless steel traps featuring a special molecular sieve. Heating of a trap with adsorbed 14CO2 results in release of 14CO2 to an equilibrium pressure depending on the temperature of the trap. The chemical reaction with 14CO2 is performed using a manifold system of stainless steel. After the reaction, surplus 14CO2 can be readsorbed on the trap for further use.

14CO2 manifold systems

RC TRITEC has designed high-vacuum manifold systems for the handling of 14CO2, based on the long experience with tritium handling systems. The manifold consists of a connector to a vessel for the production of 14CO2, two traps to adsorb 14CO2 and connectors for the reaction vessel and a distillation ampoule or a NaOH trap. In addition there is supply of an inert gas, a Pirani gauge and an absolute pressure sensor (0 - 4000 mbar).

The reaction branch with two connectors offers the optional removal of solvents by freeze-drying them over into a separate glass ampoule. It also enables the absorption of surplus 14CO2 into a NaOH solution, if the solvent cannot be removed on account of its high boiling point, which precludes its removal by freeze-drying - this is essential before re-absorption of the gas onto the trap.

The use of two traps on the manifold system offers additional safety and manipulation options.

The advantages of stainless steel manifold systems

  • 14CO2 needs not be generated from carbonate for each experiment. 
  • The 14CO2 pressure can be adjusted by setting the temperature of the trap.
  • Option to work at elevated 14CO2 pressure.
  • Surplus 14CO2 can be readsorbed from the vacuum system after the reaction. Discharges to the environment are reduced to a minimum. 
  • All stainless steel components guarantee the highest safety and reliability at maximum leak tightness. 
  • 14CO2 can be purchased on stainless steel traps from RC TRITEC, enabling you to reduce handling risks and to produce less radioactive waste.


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