Isotopes in pyrogenic carbon: a review

Bird, M.I. and Ascough, P.L. (2012) Isotopes in pyrogenic carbon: a review. Organic Geochemistry, 42(12), pp. 1529-1539. (doi: 10.1016/j.orggeochem.2010.09.005)

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Pyrogenic carbon (PC; also known as biochar, charcoal, black carbon and soot) derived from natural and anthropogenic burning plays a major, but poorly quantified, role in the global carbon cycle. Isotopes provide a fundamental fingerprint of the source of PC and a powerful tracer of interactions between PC and the environment. Radiocarbon and stable carbon isotope techniques have been widely applied to studies of PC in aerosols, soils, sediments and archaeological sequences, with the use of other isotopes currently less developed. This paper reviews the current state of knowledge regarding (i) techniques for isolating PC for isotope analysis and (ii) processes controlling the carbon (<sup>13</sup>C and <sup>14</sup>C), nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen and sulfur isotope composition of PC during formation and after deposition. It also reviews the current and potential future applications of isotope based studies to better understand the role of PC in the modern environment and to the development of records of past environmental change.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Organic Geochemistry. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms, may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Organic Geochemistry, 42, 12, January 2012, 10.1016/j.orggeochem.2010.09.005.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ascough, Dr Philippa
Authors: Bird, M.I., and Ascough, P.L.
Subjects:G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Organic Geochemistry
ISSN (Online):1873-5290
Published Online:15 September 2010
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2012 Elsevier
First Published:First published in Organic Geochemistry 42(12):1529-1539
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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