Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation (SITE)
Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.
|Field Portable X-ray Fluorescence
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted a demonstration of field portable X-ray fluorescence (FPXRF) analyzers, in April 1995, at the RV Hopkins site in Iowa and the ASARCO Tacoma Smelter in Washington. The primary objectives of this demonstration were to determine how well FPXRF analyzers perform in comparison to standard reference methods, to identify the effects of sample matrix variations on the performance of FPXRF, to determine the logistical and economic resources needed to operate these analyzers, and to test and validate an SW-846 draft method for FPXRF analysis. Two of the analyzers that were created by Metorex, the X-MET 920-P and 940, were used in this demonstration. The FPXRF analyzers were designed to provide rapid, real-time analysis of metals concentrations in soil samples. The X-MET 920-P and 940 analyzers provided definitive level data for copper, arsenic, lead, and zinc. This demonstration found that the X-MET 920-P and 940 analyzers were generally simple to operate in the field, and the operator required no specialized experience or training. Either analyzer can quickly distinguish contaminated areas from noncontaminated areas, allowing investigation and remediation decisions to be made more efficiently on-site which may reduce the number of samples that need to be submitted for confirmatory analysis. The X-MET 920-P and 940 analyzers were found to be effective tools for field-based analysis of metals contamination in soil.