Real-Time Results with the XRF

When accurate real time screening results are collected during an environmental site investigation or remediation, the team gains an invaluable tool for directing field work. The use of on-site testing ensures that adequate information is collected in order to make confident decisions about site conditions and next steps.

On-site soil testing tools such as ultraviolet fluorescence (UVF) and x-ray fluorescence (XRF) support environmental field work with high quality analytical data for screening the most prevalent organic and inorganic compounds in soil and water. In addition, when data is downloaded into GIS based data management and analysis software, real time site-wide data maps and cross-sections can be generated to show contaminant trends and information gaps.

XRF Analysis

XRF uses a radioactive source to energize elements in a sample, the resulting elemental fluorescence is then detected and analyzed, correlating to the concentration of that element within a sample.

For XRF analysis, target compounds include 37 elements. Effective for use in soil or sediments, detection limits vary based on site conditions and soil type. For priority compounds such as lead and arsenic, detection limits meet most cleanup criteria. Detection limits for reference calibration standards on 4 of 24 available elements include:

Detection Limits for Inorganics in Soil


Calibration Std. LOD (ppm)

MOE Table 2 – Soil with Potable Water, Industrial (ppm)













Onsite Analysis Benefits

Screening level results can be available in 5 minutes or less per sample. Maximum number of samples analyzed and reported generally averages 40-50/day. AEL’s mobile laboratory is completely self contained and comes equipped with the most commonly required sampling and analytical supplies. Readily transportable, analytical work can be completed at remote sites throughout Canada.

Per unit analytical costs vary on sample volume and target contaminant but are much less than comparable laboratory charges. Field support and travel expenses are extra but are similar to those normally required in completing site work.

Resource Hub Headers 11
Previous post
Remediation Approaches – In Situ Chemical Oxidation (ISCO), Part 1
Next post
Changing Course in a Phase II ESA
Resource Hub Headers 9