X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy

Analytical testing dotsX-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy XRF

X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy (XRF) is a non-destructive analytical technique allowing for simultaneous quantitatively determination of the concentrations of multiple analytes. The technique has seen extensive use in the petroleum industry as stricter regulations are imposed to reduce the industry’s environmental impact. Two specific analytes of interest are the sulfur levels in gasoline, diesel and biodiesel using method ASTM D4294 and total chlorine in petroleum products by EPA method 9075.

ALS Environmental's Tucson Laboratory utilizes a Bruker S2 Ranger Energy-Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence (EDXRF) Spectrometer to measure both sulfur and chlorine in petroleum products. The EDXRF can quantify both sulfur and chlorine from the single digit parts per million level all the way up to the percent levels without sample preparation for liquid petroleum samples. Calibration curves are generated for low oxygen containing fuels and oils (petroleum derived) and also for oxygen rich fuels such as biodiesel. Accurate quantification of an analyte can be difficult for some samples due to matrix effects. In these cases, the method of standard additions (spiking the sample with known amounts of analyte to counter interferences) can be used following a procedure published by NIST in Energy & Fuels.

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Read a previous Lab Science News article on XRF Field Applications...