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Carbon Extraction & Graphitization System (CEGS) $84,560
Load a pretreated sample into the inlet port, select your process from the drop-down menu, click Start, and you can walk away. The system automatically notifies you by email or text message when it's ready for another sample.
Once the reactor bank is full of completed samples, the graphite is easily unloaded for packing into accelerator targets. After the reactors receive new dessicant and iron catalyst, a short automatic procedure prepares them for another batch of samples. Total human effort averages less than 5 minutes per sample.
Quick-change inlet port adapters allow the CEGS to easily accept organic, carbonate, and gas samples. Stepped-temperature combustion is built-in. Any fraction can be analyzed or discarded independently of the others.
A fine-bead hot quartz bed, integrated into the combustion tube, ensures that all carbon is fully oxidized. It also mitigates the intrusion of contaminant particles into the vacuum system. A 20-micron frit provides further protection. Additionally, the fan-cooled stainless steel trap immediately above the combustion chamber catches room-temperature-condensable combustion gas products. Together, these measures work to keep the inlet port and the rest of the vacuum system clean for years of service.
Aeon's novel variable-temperature trap offers extreme precision and stability, enabling the quantitative isolation of targeted gases by distinctive phase change characteristics. Throughout the system, transfer coldfingers are temperature-managed by a reliable, efficient liquid nitrogen delivery system. Average liquid nitrogen consumption is less than three liters per sample.
CEGS with integrated sample-preparation station $102,840
Aeon's integrated sample preparation station includes three frequently-needed accessory vacuum chambers:
  • a room-temperature to 200 °C vacuum oven
  • a 50 mm diameter 1200 °C tube furnace (300 mm hot zone)
  • a heated centrifugal concentrator
These share a common, manually-operated high-vacuum system and a liquid-nitrogen-cooled water trap. This convenient configuration supports numerous radiocarbon pretreatment protocols and material preparation tasks, from the lyophilization of delicate bone collagen and gelatin samples, to quartz and pyrex test tube bake-out, and even mundane tasks like pre-drying Viton O-rings.
The tube furnace shares the CEGS' oxygen supply line, enabling glassware to be baked-out in an oxidizing atmosphere. Pressure sensor outputs are fed to the CEGS' data acquisition system, so they can be monitored by the CEGS host computer.
Key features
  • fully automated process control
  • accepts organic, carbonate, and gas samples
  • wide sample mass range: 30 μg to 2.7 mg C are processed routinely
    • small samples (30 to 100 μg C) are automatically diluted with 14C-free carbon to ~100 μg
  • online, stepped-combustion profiles are standard
    • step temperature range: 70 to 850 °C
    • higher combustion and decomposition temperatures (up to ~1200 °C) can be achieved with a modest equipment change.
  • precision, microprocessor-controlled variable temperature trap
    • VTT temperature range: -196 to +50 °C
    • VTT absolute precision: ± 2 °C
    • VTT repeatability: < 1 °C
    • VTT stability (typical drift at hold): ± 0.3 °C
  • optimal CO2 sublimation conditions:
    • performed with 10-25 Pa 99.9999% He to suppress undesireable compound evolution
    • minimal excess heat (only 3 °C above vapor-pressure equilibrium temperature at the monitored process pressure)
    • sublimation temperature and pressure profiles are recorded for every sample
  • multi-layer 600 °C copper/silver trap for additional purification
  • precise sample quantity measurement: ± 5 μg C
  • special trace sulfur trapping step available for high-sulfur samples
  • optimal graphitization conditions:
    • precise control of all process gas quantities
      • especially important for ideal graphitization reduction H2:CO2 pressure ratio
    • accurate, tuned PID furnace temperature control
      • absolute temperature precision: ± 10 °C
      • repeatability: < 1 °C
      • stability (worst drift full cycle): ± 1.2 °C
    • small graphite reactor volume: ~3 mL
    • graphitization temperature and pressure profiles recorded for every sample
    • complete graphitization verified by automatic residual pressure check
  • very low process blank levels, typically < 0.002 fM
  • minimal sample cross-contamination: blanks and modern samples can be run back-to-back
  • all software is open-source and customizable
  • most sample processes can be created and changed with no programming
  • unique and powerful Data Visualizer utility
  • automatic logging of all important sample, process, and equipment conditions
  • very little inter-sample equipment maintenance required, normally zero
  • minimal manpower requirements: less than 5 minutes per sample
  • minimal routine maintenance
  • processes up to six organic samples per day
  • optional additional hardware can increase throughput to nearly 30 samples per day (contact us for details)
Every Aeon CEGS purchase includes
  • Delivery, installation, calibration, initial setup, and testing
  • Two days of hands-on, on-site training
  • A starter kit with enough consumable supplies to process about 100 samples
  • A full set of maintenance and special tooling
  • One year of (off-site) technical support
The Aeon CEGS requires the following
  • a 3 meter long by 60 cm deep table or bench space with at least a meter of clear space above the surface
  • two 120 VAC, 15 A outlets on separate circuits
  • an adjacently-located standard low-pressure Liquid Nitrogen cylinder (pressure-building not required)
  • compressed air (> 25 psi, ~5 cfm)
  • research-grade, pressure-regulated gas cylinders of He, H2, O2
  • a pressure-regulated gas cylinder of 14C-free CO2
  • the sample preparation station requires an additional 1.5 m long x 75 cm bench space and 120 VAC, 15 A outlet/circuit
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