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Comparison of soil pollution concentrations determined using AAS and portable XRF techniques
journal contributionposted on 29.09.2017, 13:49 by Tanja Radu, Dermot Diamond
Past mining activities in the area of Silvermines, Ireland, have resulted in heavily polluted soils. The possibility of spreading pollution to the surrounding areas through dust blow-offs poses a potential threat for the local communities. Conventional environmental soil and dust analysis techniques are very slow and laborious and consequently there is a need for fast and accurate analytical methods, which can provide real-time in situ pollution mapping. Laboratory-based aqua regia acid digestion of the soil samples collected in the area followed by the atomic absorption spectrophotometry (AAS) analysis confirmed very high pollution, especially by Pb, As, Cu, and Zn. In parallel, samples were analyzed using portable X-ray fluorescence radioisotope and miniature tube powered (XRF) NITON instruments and their performance was compared. Overall, the portable XRF instrument gave excellent correlation with the laboratory-based reference AAS method.
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