Fast Cadmium Analysis in Plastics and Polymers With SPECTRO XEPOS, Detection Limit 9 ppm

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

  • New limits established: EU Directive for "End of Life Vehicles (ELV)" and also for "Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)"
  • SPECTRO XEPOS meets new limits: Measurement without expensive sample preparation
As a reaction to the EU directives for end-of-life vehicles and also for waste electrical and electronic equipment, which are to be made into federal law in the EU member states within 18 months after their publication (expected in first quarter of 2003), SPECTRO has developed a solution for heavy-metal analysis.

The energy-dispersive XRF system SPECTRO XEPOS has proven to be the ideal instrument for determining cadmium, lead, mercury, and chromium at the limits set for ELV and at the still-to-be-set limits for WEEE. The achieved average detection limit for Cd for measurements of granulated plastic polymers is 9 ppm. Thus, XEPOS can measure comfortably below the limit (100 ppm) set by the ELV directive. Limits can also be optimally monitored for lead, mercury, and chromium. Thanks to the SPECTRO proprietary polarization technology, the limits of detection for individual elements are improved by a factor of 4-7 versus conventional ED-XRF spectromters.

The SPECTRO XEPOS performs a complete multi-element analysis for the heavy metals listed in the directives within 500 seconds and a cadmium-only analysis within 300 seconds. Sample preparation is simple: the material only has to be ground up and then measured as a bulk material.

SPECTRO envisions the fields of application for the XEPOS system to also include, in addition to the automotive industry and their suppliers, the electronics industry, cable importers, compounders, as well as the recycling industry.

In the past, cadmium was used as a pigment and stabilizer. Cadmium still appears in high concentrations when recycling old equipment with long service lives and also in overseas imports.

SPECTRO – international leader in the field of optical emissions and X-ray-fluorescence spectrometry with over 19,000 installed instruments – is a multinational company, for which innovation, instrument care, and customer service are focal points. SPECTRO’s goal is to produce future-oriented instruments, to develop the best solutions for the most diverse uses, and to ensure exemplary customer service.

Please contact Tom Milner for additional information, Tel: +49.2821.892-0, 
Fax: +49.2821.892-2200, E-Mail: