Quantification of carbon species in soil
For the determination of TOC (total organic carbon) and TIC (total inorganic carbon content) two DIN standard methods are currently available. A separate quantification of elemental carbon is not possible with this approach. The elemental carbon is recorded together with the organic carbon.
In case of soil samples containing elemental carbon the common quantification of TOC and elemental carbon results in increased TOC values and thus in increased disposal costs of the soil material.
In addition, this can lead to false conclusions concerning the further use of the soil since organic material in its microbiological function in the environment needs to be considered differently than the rather inert elemental carbon.
For these reasons, a temperature gradient method was developed as part of a standard committee, which makes it possible to quantify all three carbon fractions separately. This procedure shall be included in a new DIN standard.