Elemental Analysis of Airborne Particles

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Elemental Analysis of Airborne Particles

Evaluating XRF, ICP-OES, and ICP-MS Analytical Technologies

Air pollution is of continual concern to industries, governments, and populations worldwide. Monitoring and analysis of the elements present in airborne particles have become the responsibility of many organizations in industry, government, and private research laboratories. Fortunately, modern laboratory-grade spectrometric analyzers are available that can handle these analyses.

This paper explains several of the methodologies commonly employed for these applications — focusing on ED-XRF, ICP-OES, and ICP-MS technologies. Included in the discussion are requirements for sample taking and preparation, the fundamentals of each spectrometric technology, its primary advantages and disadvantages, and a discussion of the most desirable attributes and innovations of suitable instrument models for the analysis of airborne particles.

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