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. The MAP Spectrum Analyzer is manufactured by Scitect Corporation, and was configured to report arsenic, copper, lead, and zinc. The analyzer used a count time of 240 live-seconds, which resulted in a throughput of 9 to 12 samples per hour. The analyzer used one radioactive source, cadmium-109 coupled to a solid-state silicon detector. This FPXRF analyzer is used only in the in situ mode which means it analyzed samples in minimally disturbed soil. The MAP Spectrum Analyzer can provide rapid, real-time analysis of the metals content of soil samples at hazardous waste sites. The 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.