Figure 1. Researcher and PhD student Tine Engedal preparing samples for her studies on carbon sequestration. Brown and red soil samples before and after oxidation with Hidex 600 OX Oxidizer in ceramic sample boats.
There exist an urgent need for scalable climate change mitigation tools in agriculture. One such tool is the use of winter cover crops instead of leaving the soil bare after harvesting. During growth and after their termination, cover crops contribute to soil organic carbon sequestration. However, quantifying changes in soil organic carbon is inherently difficult due to relatively small annual changes against high background variation. Therefore, we use the isotopic tracer 14C to track the fate of the CO2 taken up via photosynthesis by cover crops. This way we are able to quantify the amount of C that ends up in short- and long-term stabilized soil organic carbon pools. – Tine Engedal, PhD student, Department of Plant- and Environmental Science in University of Copenhagen
What is carbon sequestration?
The increase in greenhouse gas emissions is linked to global warming and climate change (UN environment program report). Carbon sequestration is a process where carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere into a relatively stable storage such as a terrestrial ecosystem.
Biosequestration is natural carbon sequestration method which consists of photosynthetic carbon dioxide capture by plants, followed by carbon translocation into roots and further down to terrestrial micro-organisms. This natural phenomenon is one of the most efficient ways for offsetting anthropogenic CO2 emissions as very large quantities of carbon can be stored in the soil (Kell 2012).
However, the capacity of crops for sequestering carbon varies and can depend on many factors including but not limited to plant species, root carbon allocation and climatic conditions, and is thus an important research subject for climate change mitigation (Peixoto 2022).
Figure 2. An infographic of carbon sequestration and its importance in climate change mitigation.
More convenient sample preparation than ever before
Figure 3. The isotopic tracer C14 is combusted and recaptured from the soil samples with Hidex 600 OX Oxidizer followed by liquid scintillation counting.
The Hidex 600 OX Oxidizer has been used by researchers in sample preparation of soil samples prior to liquid scintillation counting. Our 600 OX Oxidizer is a fully computer controlled automated catalytic combustion unit for all organic sample preparation. It enables hassle-free sample preparation and solid samples such as soil, concrete or plant mass are transformed into a clear liquid sample ready for measurement.
Find out more about our sample preparation solutions and find a solution that meets your research needs.
United Nations Environment Programme (2021) Emissions Gap Report 2021: The Heat Is On – A World of Climate Promises Not Yet Delivered. Available at: https://wedocs.unep.org/20.500.11822/36990
Kell, D.B. (2012) “Large-scale sequestration of atmospheric carbon via plant roots in natural and agricultural ecosystems: why and how”. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 367: 1589.
Peixoto, L., Olesen, J.E., Elsgaard, L., et al. (2022) “Deep-rooted perennial crops differ in capacity to stabilize C inputs in deep soil layers”. Scientific Reports 12: 5952.