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EPA 540/R-06/007

ITRV: XRF Technologies for Measuring Soil and Sediment (Oxford ED2000 XRF)
February 2006

The Oxford ED2000 x-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzer was demonstrated under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE) Program. The field portion of the demonstration was conducted in January 2005 at the Kennedy Athletic, Recreational and Social Park (KARS) at Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, Florida. The demonstration was designed to collect reliable performance and cost data for the ED2000 analyzer and seven other commercially available XRF instruments for measuring trace elements in soil and sediment. The performance and cost data were evaluated to document the relative performance of each XRF instrument.

This innovative technology verification report describes the objectives and the results of that evaluation and serves to verify the performance and cost of the ED2000 analyzer. Separate reports have been prepared for the other XRF instruments that were evaluated as part of the demonstration. The objectives of the evaluation included determining each XRF instrument’s accuracy, precision, sample throughput, and tendency for matrix effects. To fulfill these objectives, the field demonstration incorporated the analysis of 326 prepared samples of soil and sediment that contained 13 target elements.

The prepared samples included blends of environmental samples from nine different sample collection sites as well as spiked samples with certified element concentrations. Accuracy was assessed by comparing the XRF instrument’s results with data generated by a fixed laboratory (the reference laboratory). The reference laboratory performed element analysis using acid digestion and inductively coupled plasma – atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES), in accordance with EPA Method 3050B/6010B, and using cold vapor atomic absorption (CVAA) spectroscopy for mercury only, in accordance with EPA Method 7471A.

The Oxford ED2000 bench-top XRF analyzer is an energy dispersive XRF analyzer that can be operated in a mobile laboratory or similar setting. The ED2000 can analyze up to 75 elements in a variety of sample matrices, including contaminated soils and sediments, liquids, powders, granules, filter papers, or films. The measurement of light-end elements (sodium to iron) can be determined when the samples are prepared as pressed pellets. Oxford provides a calibration service as an option to customers for specific projects and applications using this analyzer.

This report describes the results of the evaluation of the ED2000 analyzer based on the data obtained during the demonstration. The method detection limits, accuracy, and precision of the instrument for each of the 13 target analytes are presented and discussed. The cost of element analysis using the ED2000 analyzer is compiled and compared to both fixed laboratory costs and average XRF instrument costs.


Dr. Stephen Billets

Office of Research & Development | National Risk Management Research Laboratory

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