An estimation procedure for biobased carbon content of polyethylene composite was studied using carbon-14 ((14)C) concentration ratios as measured by accelerated mass spectrometry (AMS). Prior to the measurement, additives and fillers in composites should be removed because they often contain a large amount of biobased carbon and may shift the estimation. Samples of resin with purity suitable for measurement were isolated from composites with a Soxhlet extractor using heated cyclohexanone. After cooling of extraction solutions, the resin was recovered as a fine semi-crystalline precipitate, which was easily filtered. Recovery rates were almost identical (99%), even for low-density polyethylene and linear low-density polyethylene, which may have lower crystallinity. This procedure could provide a suitable approach for estimation of biobased carbon content by AMS on the basis of the standard ASTM D 6866. The biobased carbon content for resin extracted from polyethylene composites allow for the calculation of biosynthetic polymer content, which is an indicator of mass percentage of the biobased plastic resin in the composite.
Keywords: Accelerator mass spectrometry; Additives; Biobased carbon content; Polyethylene; Radiocarbon.