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Carbon Isotopic Reference

 δ13C Values of Carbon Isotopic Reference Materials

Description 

NIST RM # 

Material

Nominal Unit Size

δ13CVPDB

Footnote

Ref

NBS 19

8544

limestone

0.4 g 

+1.95 ‰

*

16

L-SVEC

8545

lithium carbonate 

0.4 g 

–46.6 ‰

*

5

NBS 18

8543

carbonatite

0.4 g

–5.01 ‰

 

5

NBS 22

8539

oil

1 mL 

–30.03 ‰

 

5

NGS1

8559

natural gas (coal origin)

< 2 g

–29.0 ‰   (CH4)

 

3

NGS2

8560

natural gas (petroleum origin)

< 2 g

–44.5 ‰   (CH4)

 

3

NGS3

8561

natural gas (biogenic)

< 2 g

–72.8 ‰ (CH4)

 

3

CO2-Heavy Paleomarine Origin

8562

CO2

2 tubes

–3.72 ‰

 

5

CO2-Light, Petrochemical Origin

8563

CO2

2 tubes

–41.59 ‰

 

5

CO2-Biogenic, Modern Biomass Origin

8564

CO2

2 tubes

–10.45 ‰

 

5

USGS24

8541

graphite

0.8 g 

–16.05 ‰

 

5

USGS40

8573

L-glutamic acid

1 g

–26.39 ‰

 

5

USGS41

8574

L-glutamic acid

0.5 g

+37.63 ‰

 

5

IAEA-CO-1

 

calcium carbonate

0.5 g

+2.49 ‰

 

5

IAEA-CH-3

 

cellulose

0.5 g

–24.72 ‰

 

5

IAEA-CH-6

8542

sucrose

1 g 

–10.45 ‰

 

5

IAEA-CH-7

8540

polyethylene foil 

3.6 g

–32.15 ‰

 

5

IAEA-CO-8

 

calcium carbonate

0.5 g

–5.76 ‰

 

5

IAEA-CO-9

 

barium carbonate

1 g

–47.32 ‰

 

5

IAEA-600

 

caffeine

0.5 g

–27.77 ‰

 

5

IAEA-601

 

benzoic acid

0.5 g

–28.81 ‰

 

5

IAEA-602

 

benzoic acid

0.5 g

–28.85 ‰

 

5

*  Exact values defining the delta scale

Recommendation on the Reporting of δ13C Measurements

At the Beijing General Assembly in 2005, the Commission recommended that δ13C values of all carbon-bearing materials be measured and expressed relative to VPDB on a scale normalized by assigning consensus values of –46.6 ‰ to L-SVEC lithium carbonate and +1.95 ‰ to NBS 19 calcium carbonate, and authors should clearly state so in their reports.

Authors are encouraged to report their measurement results for δ13C values of NBS 22 oil, USGS 41 L-glutamic acid, IAEA-CH-6 sucrose, or other internationally distributed reference materials, as appropriate for the measurement method concerned, had they been analyzed with the author’s samples. 

This recommendation supersedes the recommendation made by the Commission in 1993 (ref. 22). Full analytical data supporting this recommendation is found in reference 5. 

Authors should discontinue reporting their δ13C values relative to PDB.

The full recommendation appears in:
Atomic weights of the elements 2005, Wieser, M. E.,  Pure Appl. Chem., 78, 2051-2066 (2006).   [full text - pdf 217 KB] {TSAW 2005.pdf}

References

3. Hut, G., Consultants' group meeting on stable isotope reference samples for geochemical and hydrological investigations, Vienna, International Atomic Energy Agency, 42 p (1987).
5. Coplen, T.B., Brand, W.A., Gehre, M., Gröning, M., Meijer, H. A. J., Toman, B, and Verkouteren, R. M., New guidelines for δ13C measurements, Anal. Chem., 78, 2439-2441 (2006).
16. Gonfiantini, R., 1984, Advisory group meeting on stable isotope reference samples for geochemical and hydrological investigations, IAEA, Vienna, 19-21 September 1983, Report to the Director General, International Atomic Energy Agency, 77 p.
22. Coplen, T. B., Reporting of stable hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen isotopic abundances, Pure Appl. Chem., 66, 273-276 (1994).

 

 
2010 Commission on Isotopic Abundances and Atomic Weights | a commission of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry