In this paper we describe and discuss the advantages from improvements in equipment design and operating procedures developed at the State Scientific Centre of Environmental Radiogeochemistry (SSCER) laboratory in Kiev. Two experimental areas are considered, viz.
1. The direct chemisorption into a lithium alloy of carbonaceous gases produced by the controlled thermal degradation (pyrolysis) of organic materials under vacuum. This approach offers the advantage of a single stage, highly efficient and economical procedure for the production of lithium carbide. It is applicable for most types of sample material encountered in routine dating work and including organic detritus dispersed in a highly (up to 95% by weight) mineral matrix and/or carbonates. Bone collagen can also be processed without the need for its prior extraction and purification.
2. A conical thin walled reaction vessel for achieving improved and reproducible recoveries in the production of lithium carbide from CO
gas. This apparatus allows a much improved control over the surface dependent reaction in instances where there is no option other than the direct interaction of molten lithium with prepared CO2 gas.