Chemical characteristics of macroscopic pyrogenic carbon following millennial-scale environmental exposure

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dc.contributor.author Ascough, Philippa L.
dc.contributor.author Brock, Fiona
dc.contributor.author Collinson, Margaret E.
dc.contributor.author Painter, Jon D.
dc.contributor.author Lane, David W.
dc.contributor.author Bird, Michael I.
dc.date.accessioned 2020-01-24T10:36:28Z
dc.date.available 2020-01-24T10:36:28Z
dc.date.issued 2020-01-21
dc.identifier.citation Ascough PL, Brock F, Collinson ME, Painter JD, Lane DW & Bird MI. Chemical characteristics of macroscopic pyrogenic carbon following millennial-scale environmental exposure. Frontiers in Environmental Science, Volume 7, January 2020, Article number 203 en_UK
dc.identifier.issn 2296-665X
dc.identifier.uri https://doi.org/10.3389/fenvs.2019.00203
dc.identifier.uri http://dspace.lib.cranfield.ac.uk/handle/1826/15013
dc.description.abstract Pyrogenic Carbon (PyC) is ubiquitous in global environments, and is now known to form a significant, and dynamic component of the global carbon cycle, with at least some forms of PyC persisting in their depositional environment for many millennia. Despite this, the factors that determine the turnover of PyC remain poorly understood, as do the physical and chemical changes that this material undergoes when exposed to the environment over tens of thousands of years. Here, we present the results of an investigation to address these knowledge gaps through chemical and physical analysis of a suite of wood PyC samples exposed to the environment for varying time periods, to a maximum of >90,000 years. This includes an assessment of the quantity of resistant carbon, known as Stable Polyaromatic Carbon (SPAC) versus more chemically labile carbon in the samples. We find that, although production temperature is likely to determine the initial ‘degradation potential’ of PyC, an extended exposure to environmental conditions does not necessarily mean that remaining PyC always progresses to a ‘SPAC-dominant’ state. Instead, some ancient PyC can be composed largely of chemical components typically thought of as environmentally labile, and it is likely that the depositional environment drives the trajectory of preservation versus loss of PyC over time. This has important implications for the size of global PyC stocks, which may have been underestimated, and also for the potential loss of previously stored PyC, when its depositional environment alters through environmental or climatic changes. en_UK
dc.language.iso en en_UK
dc.publisher Frontiers en_UK
dc.rights Attribution 4.0 International *
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ *
dc.subject Charcoal en_UK
dc.subject Preservation en_UK
dc.subject Aromaticity en_UK
dc.subject Wood en_UK
dc.subject Pyrogenic Carbon en_UK
dc.title Chemical characteristics of macroscopic pyrogenic carbon following millennial-scale environmental exposure en_UK
dc.type Article en_UK


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