A robust X-ray fluorescence technique for multielemental analysis of solid samples

Nikolaos Kallithrakas-Kontos, Spyros Foteinis, Katherine Paigniotaki, Minos Papadogiannakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


X-ray fluorescence (XRF) quantitation software programs are widely used for analyzing environmental samples due to their versatility but at the expense of accuracy. In this work, we propose an accurate, robust, and versatile technique for multielemental X-ray fluorescence analytical applications, by spiking solid matrices with standard solutions. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)-certified soil standards were spiked with standard solutions, mixed well, desiccated, and analyzed by an energy dispersive XRF. Homogenous targets were produced and low error calibration curves, for the added and not added, neighboring, elements, were obtained. With the addition of few elements, the technique provides reliable multielemental analysis, even for concentrations of the order of milligram per kilogram (ppm). When results were compared to the ones obtained from XRF commercial quantitation software programs, which are widely used in environmental monitoring and assessment applications, they were found to fit certified values better. Moreover, in all examined cases, results were reliable. Hence, this technique can also be used to overcome difficulties associated with interlaboratory consistency and for cross-validating results. The technique was applied to samples with an environmental interest, collected from a ship/boat repainting area. Increased copper, zinc, and lead loads were observed (284, 270, and 688 mg/kg maximum concentrations in soil, respectively), due to vessels being paint stripped and repainted.
Original languageEnglish
Article number120
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2016


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