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We are engaged in a study of the ash produced by combustion of lignite in a 750-MW power station. The aim is to follow the transport of elements with Z> 16 from the mine, through: a) the combustion process, b) emissionto the atmosphere or c) deposition in a land fill, d) transport in the environment and e) subsequent uptake by animals and humans. The resulting data will be used to estimate potential adverse impact on human health caused by operation of the power station.
Total reflection X-ray fluorescence analysis (TXRF) using monochromatized undulator radiation in the PTB radiometry laboratory at the synchrotron radiation facility BESSY II has been employed to investigate the chemical state of nitrogen compounds in aerosols. The aerosol samples of different size fractions were deposited on silicon wafer surfaces in a May impactor. Using a thin window Si(Li) detector, TXRF detection limits for nitrogen are in the upper fg and lower pg range. Taking advantage of the tunability of monochromatized undulator radiation, the near edge X-ray absorption fine structure (NEXAFS) could be combined with TXRF analysis, allowing for the speciation of the aerosols at the nitrogen K absorption edge. Such low detection limits enable an analysis of aerosol samples taken in 10 min with acceptable accuracy. Applicability of the technique to real aerosol samples has been used to compare nitrogen oxidation state in suburban and rural aerosols