Carbon-13 - 13C or C-13 - is a natural, stable isotope of the chemical element carbon, whose atomic nucleus consists of six protons and seven neutrons. As one of the environmental isotopes, it accounts for about 1.1% of all natural carbon on Earth.
Pure carbon-13 for commercial use - particularly for the chemical synthesis of 13 C-labeled compounds - must be enriched due to its natural abundance of approximately one 1%. In principle, various techniques or methods such as thermal diffusion, chemical exchange, gas diffusion as well as laser and cryogenic distillation are available to separate C-13 from the main component C-12 of natural carbon.
At present, however, only the cryogenic distillation of methane or carbon monoxide is an economically viable industrial production technology, although such carbon-13 production facilities represent a significant investment. Cryogenic distillation columns more than 100 meters high are required to separate the compounds containing carbon-12 or carbon-13. The world's largest reported commercial C-13 plant (CIL plant in Ohio) has a production capacity of approximately 420 kg of carbon-13 per year (2019). In this method, natural carbon monoxide (CO) is liquefied at a very low temperature and then distilled through special stainless steel columns several kilometers long. In comparison, a 1969 pilot plant for the cryogenic distillation of carbon monoxide at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratories (USA) was able to produce about 4 kg of carbon-13 annually.
See also: list of Carbon isotopes.
Direct parent isotopes are: 13B, 13N.
|Atomic Mass ma||Quantity||Half-life||Spin|
|12.011 u||100 %|
|Isotope 12C||12.00000000000 u||98.94 %|
[98.84 - 99.04 %]
|Isotope 14C||14.003241988(4) u|
|Isotope 13C||13.003354835(2) u||1.06 %|
[0.96 - 1.16 %]
Nuclear magnetic properties of the NMR active Nuclide 13C
|OZ||Isotone N = 7||Isobar A = 13|
 - Darren Brown, John Greene:
10th international symposium on the synthesis and applications of isotopes and isotopically labelled compounds.
In: Journal of Labelled Compounds and Radiophamaceuticals, (2010), DOI 10.1002/jlcr.1775.
 - Hu-LinLi, Yong-Lin Ju, Liang-JunLi, Da-GangXu:
Separation of isotope 13C using high-performance structured packing.
In: Chemical Engineering and Processing: Process Intensification, (2010), DOI 10.1016/j.cep.2010.02.001.
Last update: 2023-11-09
© 1996 - 2023 ChemLin