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Year of Birth Determination Using Radiocarbon Dating of Dental Enamel

Description: Radiocarbon dating is typically an archaeological tool rather than a forensic one. Recently however, we have shown that the amount of radiocarbon present in tooth enamel, as a result of nuclear bomb testing during the cold war, is a remarkably accurate indicator of when a person is born. Enamel isolated from human teeth is processed to form graphite and carbon-14 ({sup 14}C) levels are measured using accelerator mass spectrometry. Since there is no turnover of enamel after it is formed, {sup 14}C levels in the enamel represent {sup 14}C levels in the atmosphere at the time of its formation. In this paper we describe the strategy used to determine the date of birth of an individual based on radiocarbon levels in tooth enamel, focusing on the methodology of this strategy. Year of birth information can significantly assist police investigators when the identity of a deceased individual is unknown. In such cases police will try to match particulars of the unidentified individual (which is often only gender and/or an estimate of age), with particulars from missing persons lists.
Date: March 10, 2009
Creator: Buchholz, B A & Spalding, K L
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Complexities in the Use of Bomb-Curve Radiocarbon to Determine Time Since Death of Human Skeletal Remains

Description: Atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons during the 1950s and early 1960s doubled the level of radiocarbon ({sup 14}C) in the atmosphere. From the peak in 1963, the level of {sup 14}CO{sub 2} has decreased exponentially with a mean life of about 16 years, not due to radioactive decay, but due to mixing with large marine and terrestrial carbon reservoirs. Since radiocarbon is incorporated into all living things, the bomb-pulse is an isotopic chronometer of the past half century. The absence of bomb radiocarbon in skeletonized human remains generally indicates a date of death before 1950. Comparison of the radiocarbon values with the post 1950 bomb-curve may also help elucidate when in the post 1950 era, the individual was still alive. Such interpretation however, must consider the age at death of the individual and the type of tissue sampled.
Date: April 26, 2005
Creator: Ubelaker, D H & Buchholz, B A
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Processing of LEU targets for {sup 99}Mo production: Dissolution of U{sub 3}Si{sub 2} targets by alkaline hydrogen peroxide

Description: Low-enriched uranium silicide targets designed to recover fission product {sup 99}Mo were dissolved in alkaline hydrogen peroxide (H{sub 2}O{sub 2} plus NaOH) at about 90C. Sintering of matrix aluminum powder during irradiation and heat treatment retarded aluminum dissolution and prevented silicide particle dispersion. Gas evolved during dissolution is suspected to adhere to particles and block hydroxide ion contact with aluminum. Reduction of base concentrations from 5M to O.lM NaOH yielded similar silicide dissolution and peroxide destruction rates, simplifying later processing. Future work in particle dispersion enhancement, {sup 99}Mo separation, and waste disposal is also discussed.
Date: September 1, 1995
Creator: Buchholz, B.A. & Vandegrift, G.F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Analysis of Artificial Radiocarbon in Different Skeletal and Dental Tissue Types to Evaluate Date of Death

Description: Radiocarbon dating, with special reference to the modern bomb-curve, can provide useful information to elucidate the date of death of skeletonized human remains. Interpretation can be enhanced with analysis of different types of tissues within a single skeleton because of the known variability of formation times and remodeling rates. Analysis of radiocarbon content of teeth, especially the enamel in tooth crowns provides information about the date of formation in the childhood years and in consideration of the known timing of tooth formation can be used to estimate the birth date after 1950 A.D. Radiocarbon analysis of modern cortical and trabecular bone samples from the same skeleton may allow proper placement on the pre-1963 or post-1963 sides of the bomb-curve since most trabecular bone generally undergoes more rapid remodeling than does most cortical bone. Pre-1963 bone formation would produce higher radiocarbon values for most trabecular bone than for most cortical bone. This relationship is reversed for formation after 1963. Radiocarbon analysis was conducted in this study on dental, cortical and trabecular bone samples from two adult individuals of known birth (1925 and 1926) and death dates (1995 and 1959). As expected, the dental results correspond to pre-bomb bomb-curve values reflecting conditions during the childhoods of the individuals. The curve radiocarbon content of most bone samples reflected the higher modern bomb-curve values. Within the bone sample analyses, the values of the trabecular bone were higher than those of cortical bone and supported the known placement on the pre-1963 side of the bomb-curve.
Date: July 19, 2005
Creator: Ubelaker, D H; Buchholz, B A & Stewart, J
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Using Biofuel Tracers to Study Alternative Combustion Regimes

Description: Interest in the use of alternative fuels and combustion regimes is increasing as the price of petroleum climbs. The inherently higher efficiency of Diesel engines has led to increased adoption of Diesels in Europe, capturing approximately 40% of the new passenger car market. Unfortunately, lower CO{sub 2} emissions are countered with higher nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) emissions, and higher noise. Noise and PM have traditionally been the obstacles toward consumer acceptance of Diesel passenger cars in North America, while NOx (a key component in photochemical smog) has been more of an engineering challenge. Diesels are lean burning (combustion with excess oxygen) and reducing NOx to N2 in an oxygen rich environment is difficult. Adding oxygenated compounds to the fuel helps reduce PM emissions, but relying on fuel alone to reduce PM is unrealistic. Keeping peak combustion temperature below 1700 K prevents NOx formation. Altering the combustion regime to burn at temperatures below the NOx threshold and accept a wide variety of fuels seems like a promising alternative for future engines. Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition (HCCI) is a possible solution. Fuel and air are well mixed prior to intake into a cylinder (homogeneous charge) and ignition occurs by compression of the fuel-air mixture by the piston. HCCI is rapid and relatively cool, producing little NOx and PM. Unfortunately, it is hard to control since HCCI is initiated by temperature and pressure instead of a spark or direct fuel injection. We investigate biofuel HCCI combustion, and use intrinsically labeled biofuels as tracers of HCCI combustion. Data from tracer experiments are used to validate combustion modeling.
Date: February 14, 2006
Creator: Mack, J H; Flowers, D L; Buchholz, B A & Dibble, R W
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Assessment of Contribution of Contemporary Carbon Sources to Size-Fractionated Particulate Matter and Time-Resolved Bulk Particulate Matter Using the Measurement of Radiocarbon

Description: This study was motivated by a desire to improve understanding of the sources contributing to the carbon that is an important component of airborne particulate matter (PM). The ultimate goal of this project was to lay a ground work for future tools that might be easily implemented with archived or routinely collected samples. A key feature of this study was application of radiocarbon measurement that can be interpreted to indicate the relative contributions from fossil and non-fossil carbon sources of atmospheric PM. Size-resolved PM and time-resolved PM{sub 10} collected from a site in Sacramento, CA in November 2007 (Phase I) and March 2008 (Phase II) were analyzed for radiocarbon and source markers such as levoglucosan, cholesterol, and elemental carbon. Radiocarbon data indicates that the contributions of non-fossil carbon sources were much greater than that from fossil carbon sources in all samples. Radiocarbon and source marker measurements confirm that a greater contribution of non-fossil carbon sources in Phase I samples was highly likely due to residential wood combustion. The present study proves that measurement of radiocarbon and source markers can be readily applied to archived or routinely collected samples for better characterization of PM sources. More accurate source apportionment will support ARB in developing more efficient control strategies.
Date: April 16, 2009
Creator: Hwang, H M; Young, T M & Buchholz, B A
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Further improvement in the precision of 233U measurements by accelerator mass spectrometry at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Description: In response to sponsor interest in October 2005 we proposed two methods for enhancing the precision of {sup 233}U accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) capabilities at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). In a previous report we evaluated the first method and demonstrated that by increasing sample loading by a factor of four coupled with performing four replicates of each sample, we could achieve measurement precision of {approx}1%. Recent modifications to our system have enabled us to test the second proposed method. By changing our setup to normalize {sup 233}U ions counted in a gas ionization chamber to {sup 238}U measured as a current in an off-axis Faraday cup we were able to attain 1% precision without the need for replicate analysis. This method could be further refined to achieve 0.5% precision in samples of interest.
Date: February 4, 2008
Creator: Tumey, S. J.; Brown, T. A.; Hamilton, T. F. & Buchholz, B. A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Age estimation in forensic sciences: Application of combined aspartic acid racemization and radiocarbon analysis

Description: Age determination of unknown human bodies is important in the setting of a crime investigation or a mass disaster, since the age at death, birth date and year of death, as well as gender, can guide investigators to the correct identity among a large number of possible matches. Traditional morphological methods used by anthropologists to determine age are often imprecise, whereas chemical analysis of tooth dentin, such as aspartic acid racemization has shown reproducible and more precise results. In this paper we analyze teeth from Swedish individuals using both aspartic acid racemization and radiocarbon methodologies. The rationale behind using radiocarbon analysis is that above-ground testing of nuclear weapons during the cold war (1955-1963) caused an extreme increase in global levels of carbon-14 ({sup 14}C) which have been carefully recorded over time. Forty-four teeth from 41 individuals were analyzed using aspartic acid racemization analysis of tooth crown dentin or radiocarbon analysis of enamel and ten of these were split and subjected to both radiocarbon and racemization analysis. Combined analysis showed that the two methods correlated well (R2=0.66, p < 0.05). Radiocarbon analysis showed an excellent precision with an overall absolute error of 0.6 {+-} 04 years. Aspartic acid racemization also showed a good precision with an overall absolute error of 5.4 {+-} 4.2 years. Whereas radiocarbon analysis gives an estimated year of birth, racemization analysis indicates the chronological age of the individual at the time of death. We show how these methods in combination can also assist in the estimation of date of death of an unidentified victim. This strategy can be of significant assistance in forensic casework involving dead victim identification.
Date: November 2, 2009
Creator: Alkass, K; Buchholz, B A; Ohtani, S; Yamamoto, T; Druid, H & Spalding, S L
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Measuring Sub-micron Size Fractionated Particulate Matter on Aluminum Impactor Disks

Description: Sub-micron sized airborne particulate matter is not collected well on regular quartz or glass fiber filter papers. We used a micro-orifice uniform deposit impactor (MOUDI) to size fractionate particulate matter (PM) into six size fractions and deposit it on specially designed high purity thin aluminum disks. The MOUDI separated PM into fractions 56-100 nm, 100-180 nm, 180-320 nm, 320-560 nm, 560-1000 nm, and 1000-1800 nm. Since MOUDI have low flow rates, it takes several days to collect sufficient carbon on 47 mm foil disks. The small carbon mass (20-200 microgram C) and large aluminum substrate ({approx}25 mg Al) presents several challenges to production of graphite targets for accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) analysis. The Al foil consumes large amounts of oxygen as it is heated and tends to melt into quartz combustion tubes, causing gas leaks. We describe sample processing techniques to reliably produce graphitic targets for {sup 14}C-AMS analysis of PM deposited on Al impact foils.
Date: July 28, 2009
Creator: Buchholz, B A; Zermeno, P; Hwang, H & Young, T M
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Radiolysis and hydrolysis of magnetically assisted chemical separation particles

Description: The magnetically assisted chemical separation (MACS) process is designed to separate transuranic (TRU) elements out of high-level waste (HLW) or TRU waste. Magnetic microparticles (1--25 {mu}m) were coated with octyl (phenyl)N,N-diisobutylcarbamoylmethylphosphine oxide (CMPO) dissolved in tributyl phosphate (TBP) and tested for removing TRU elements from acidic nitrate solutions. The particles were contacted with nitric acid solutions and Hanford plutonium finishing plant (PFP) simulant, irradiated with a high intensity {sup 60}Co {gamma}-ray source, and evaluated for effectiveness in removing TRU elements from 2m HNO{sub 3} solutions. The resistance of the coatings and magnetic cores to radiolytic damage and hydrolytic degradation was investigated by irradiating samples of particles suspended in a variety of solutions with doses of up to 5 Mrad. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), magnetic susceptibility measurements, and physical observations of the particles and suspension solutions were used to assess physical changes to the particles. Processes that affect the surface of the particles dramatically alter the binding sites for TRU in solution. Hydrolysis played a larger role than radiolysis in the degradation of the extraction capacity of the particles.
Date: May 1, 1995
Creator: Buchholz, B.A.; Nunez, L. & Vandegrift, G.F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Effect of alpha-radiolysis on TRUEX-NPH solvent

Description: An unexpectedly high degradation of the TRUEX (TRansUranic EXtraction) solvent occurred during the treatment of waste solutions from the New Brunswick Laboratory. The waste solutions treated contained approximately 1 g/L of Pu-239 and 20 mg/L of Am-241. Earlier studies of {alpha}-radiolysis using carbon tetrachloride (CCl{sub 4}) rather than normal paraffinic hydrocarbons (NPH) as a diluent indicated greater resistance to radiation damage than observed. For this study, the TRUEX-NPH solvent was loaded with Am-241 in nitric acid, irradiated with doses up to 3.5 Mrad, and monitored for decline in extraction capability as a function of absorbed dose. Results of this study are being used to improve the Generic TRUEX Model (GTM), a thermodynamic model that permits flowsheet design for solvent extraction processing.
Date: October 1, 1994
Creator: Buchholz, B. A.; Nunez, L. & Vandegrift, G. F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Waste remediation using in situ magnetically assisted chemical separation

Description: The magnetically assisted chemical separation process (MACS) combines the selective and efficient separation afforded by chemical sorption with the magnetic recovery of ferromagnetic particles. This process is being developed for treating the underground storage tanks at Hanford. These waste streams contain cesium, strontium, and transuranics (TRU) that must be removed before this waste can be disposed of as grout. The separation process uses magnetic particles coated with either (1) a selective ion exchange material or an organic extractant containing solvent (for cesium and strontium removal) or (2) solvents for selective separation of TRU elements (e.g., TRUEX process). These coatings, by their chemical nature, selectively separate the contaminants onto the particles, which can then be recovered from the tank using a magnet. Once the particles are removed, the contaminants can either be left on the loaded particles and added to the glass feed slurry or stripped into a small volume of solution so that the extracting particles can be reused. The status of chemistry and separation process is discussed in this paper.
Date: November 1, 1993
Creator: Nunez, L.; Buchholz, B. A. & Vandegrift, G. F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A Numerical Investigation into the Anomalous Slight NOx Increase when Burning Biodiesel: A New (Old) Theory

Description: Biodiesel is a notable alternative to petroleum derived diesel fuel because it comes from natural domestic sources and thus reduces dependence on diminishing petroleum fuel from foreign sources, it likely lowers lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions, and it lowers an engine's emission of most pollutants as compared to petroleum derived diesel. However, the use of biodiesel often slightly increases a diesel engine's emission of smog forming nitrogen oxides (NO{sub x}) relative to petroleum diesel. In this paper, previously proposed theories for this slight NOx increase are reviewed, including theories based on biodiesel's cetane number, which leads to differing amounts of charge preheating, and theories based on the fuel's bulk modulus, which affects injection timing. This paper proposes an additional theory for the slight NO{sub x} increase of biodiesel. Biodiesel typically contains more double bonded molecules than petroleum derived diesel. These double bonded molecules have a slightly higher adiabatic flame temperature, which leads to the increase in NOx production for biodiesel. Our theory was verified using numerical simulations to show a NOx increase, due to the double bonded molecules, that is consistent with observation. Further, the details of these numerical simulations show that NOx is predominantly due to the Zeldovich mechanism.
Date: January 30, 2007
Creator: Ban-Weiss, G A; Chen, J Y; Buchholz, B A & Dibble, R W
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department