Performance, Accuracy of ED-XRF Spectrometry for the Onsite Elemental Analysis of Soil and Sewage Sludge Is Detailed in New Application Brief

June 20, 2016

Kleve, Germany – June 20, 2016 — The performance and accuracy of energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (ED-XRF) spectrometry  performing elemental analysis in the field on soil and sewage sludge samples are detailed in a new application brief — available to download at  

Evaluating how to address a contaminated environmental site requires both a precise identification of the contaminating elements and a determination of the amounts present. Traditionally, elemental analysis has been done in laboratories using inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). This approach requires the physical transportation of collected samples from the field to the laboratory, as well as extensive sample preparation — both of which add considerable time and cost to the process. 

In contrast, portable ED-XRF spectrometry provides a fast, precise, accurate and economical solution for the onsite trace analysis of minor and major elements for environmental monitoring, geochemical prospecting and mining applications. With in-the-field portable ED-XRF spectrometry, sample preparation is minimal, and there is no need for sample transportation, shortening the time to results from days to minutes.

The new application brief, Analysis of Soil and Sewage Sludge in the Field with a Portable ED-XRF Spectrometer, reports on tests comparing laboratory and field-based analyses of heavy metals in sewage sludge. The field tests were conducted using a portable SPECTROSCOUT ED-XRF spectrometer, which provided excellent performance in multi-element applications, accuracy in the measured concentrations for “light” elements, and proven reliability. 

Download the brief “Analysis of Soil and Sewage Sludge in the Field with a Portable ED-XRF Spectrometer,” at It is authored by SPECTRO Analytical Instruments, a leading global supplier of analytical instruments for optical emission and X-ray fluorescence spectrometry.