Carbon Oxidization

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Oxidizable Carbon Ratio dating is a method for determining the absolute age of charcoal samples with relative accuracy. This dating method works by measuring the ratio of oxidizable carbon to organic carbon. When the sample is freshly burned, there will be no oxidizable carbon because it has been removed by the combustion process. Over time this will change and the amount of organic carbon will decrease to be replaced by oxidizable carbon at a linear rate. By measuring the ratio of these two allotropes, one can determine ages of over 20,000 years ago with a standard error under 3%1.(2)

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