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It turns out that the origin and concentration of C in fossil fuels is important to the physics community because of its relevance for detection of solar neutrinos.
Apparently one of the new neutrino detectors, the Borexino detector in Italy, works by detecting tiny flashes of visible light produced by neutrinos passing through a huge subterranean vat of "scintillation fluid".
These are the surfaces that we can get absolute ages for.
For the others, one can only use relative age dating (such as counting craters) in order to estimate the age of the surface and the history of the surface.
Since the halflife of carbon-14 is 5,730 years, any that was present in the coal at the time of formation should have long since decayed to stable daughter products. "Ion Beam Preparation Systems for Atomic Isobar Reduction in Accelerator Mass Spectrometry." 2001.
The presence of C in coal is probably produced de novo by radioactive decay of the uranium-thorium isotope series that is naturally found in rocks (and which is found in varying concentrations in different rocks, hence the variation in C dating.
Commercial radiocarbon dating labs, on the other hand, have the manpower and technical expertise to provide reliable results.
Beta Analytic has an edge over other radiocarbon dating labs because it has contributed to the development of the method—-and therefore has a thorough understanding of it—-and it is accredited to ISO/IEC 17005, an accreditation required by most regulators.
It is not used to date rocks or other inorganic material.Carbon-14 dating does not produce ages in the millions of years, as do some other types of radioisotope dating.