As the Environmental Protection Agency adds ever more sites to the National Priorities List for Superfund clean-up, there is a tremendous need for a fast method of screening for contaminants. In the case of inorganics, we can apply field-portable X-ray fluorescence technology.
With commercially available field-portable X-ray fluorescence equipment using in-situ measurements we can quickly screen a site (hundreds of measurements), input the data to a portable computer, process it, and print a colored concentration isopleth map of the contaminant of interest, all in realtime.
The in-situ measurement approach pioneered by Lockheed is the key to rapid screening capability. Problems arising from particle size distribution, soil heterogeneity, and bulk density are minimized by employing site-specific standards in the construction of our calibration curves. Inherent in these site-specific standards are all the matrix problems which occur in the routine samples.
The strength of field-portable X-ray fluorescence technology is the accuracy of analysis above the quantitation limits. The difficulty in measuring low concentrations near the detection limit is the weak point of field-portable units.
NOTICE: Although this research was funded in part by the U.S. EPA through Contract 68-03-3249 to Lockheed Engineering & Sciences Company, it has not undergone Agency review and does not necessarily reflect Agency policy.