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A precise amount of argon-38 is added to the gas as a "spike" to help calibrate the measurement, and the gas sample is collected onto activated charcoal cooled by liquid nitrogen.
Then the gas sample is cleaned of all unwanted gasses such as H A variant of the K-Ar method gives better data by making the overall measurement process simpler.
With each increment in quality, more subtle sources of error have been found and taken into account.
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Since the rate at which this conversion occurs is known, it is possible to determine the elapsed time since the mineral formed by measuring the ratio of U, as the source of radiogenic heat.