Analysis of Sulfur And Trace Element Content In FAME

Application Brief

Bio-Geochemistry – Analysis of Minor and Trace Elements in Peat Samples

The bulk chemical analysis of samples taken from peatlands – in particular from ombrotrophic peatlands receiving their inputs only from precipitation – can provide information on nutrients, trace element retention and deposition history. The analysis of trace elements from different layers in the peatland can reveal adsorption and mobility effects within the peat-structure, as well as within the peat decomposition over time.

Energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence (ED-XRF) is an accepted and widely used technique for the elemental analyses of geochemical samples. However, the multi-elemental analysis of peat samples, for bio-geochemistry applications, presents a challenge for spectrometric instruments as sample volumes, or mass, can be rather small and elemental concentrations very low. This paper covers the use of one such instrument to analyze trace and minor element concentrations in peat samples.

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