Simultaneous determination of parts-per-million level Cr, As, Cd and Pb, and major elements in low level contaminated soils using borate fusion and energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry with polarized excitation
Energy-dispersive polarized X-ray fluorescence (ED-P-XRF) spectrometry was evaluated for the analysis of low level contaminated soils for four important contaminant elements (Cr, As, Cd and Pb) and major elements (Fe, Mn, Ti, P, Ca, K, Si, Al, Mg and Na) commonly found in soils. Using a LiBO 2 and Li 2B 4O 7 fusion method, synthetic standards were prepared in Al 2O 3 matrices for trace elements and SiO 2 matrices for major elements. Matrix corrections were based on loss-eliminated alpha coefficients and the sample analysis was carried out on an 'as-received basis'. The method was validated using certified reference materials. Analytical figures of merit and the effect of the use of catch-weights are presented. The results of this study demonstrate that this ED-P-XRF method is suitable for the as-received analysis of contaminated soils for the determination of low parts-per-million level contaminant elements and percent level major elements.