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Technology Factsheet

XRF Analysis of PCBs and Inorganics

Category: Characterization > Monitors > Radiation Monitors
Reference # : OST No 2398 , DOE-EM-0546 Model No : XEPOS

The SPCETRO XEPOS is an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer which uses polarized radiation to detect elements ranging from sodium to uranium. X-ray fluorescence spectrometers generally only measure the top surface of the sample, so it is important to grind and mix the sample into the powder so that a uniform reading that is representative of the entire sample will be achieved. A binding agent SPECTROBlend was added to the powder. The equipment was also used to detect the possible presence PCBs in various media (soil, paint, PPE, liquid, and oils) by measuring the total chlorine concentration. The SPECTRO XEPOS can measure the concentration of total chlorine (organic chlorine and chloride salts) in a sample, since chlorine is an elemental component of PCB. The XEPOS provides simultaneous determination of the elements present in a single measurement that varies from 100 to 500 seconds in length depending upon quality objectives. The results can be printed or saved as an electronic file for later use. The system can be set up with multiple internal standards that are matrix matched for various media such as soils, water, coatings, biological materials etc.

Benefits

It is much faster turnaround on the sample results than the baseline. The SPECTRO XEPOS does not require samples to be digested or otherwise prepared before analysis. The new technology may eventually eliminate the need to ship samples offsite. Faster turn-around times result in D&D schedules being reduced, resulting in cost savings.

Limitations

For PCBs analysis, the SPECTRO XEPOS can be used to reduce the number of samples that must be sent to the laboratory for analysis but, because it does not actually detect PCB, laboratory verification is still needed. If, however, the instrument does show a chlorine free reading, laboratory verification should not be required to conclude that the sample is free of PCBs.

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