Quantitative Analysis of Elements in Sediments and Soils by X-ray Fluorescence*

E. R. Tuncer, T. Demirel and R. A. Lohnes
Engineering Research Institute, Department of Civil Engineering, Iowa State University Ames, IA 50011, U.S.A.
* Investigations sponsored by U.S. Army Research Office and the Engineering Research Institute, Iowa State University.
Present address: Civil Engineering Department, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey.

Abstract: Previous applications of the method of known additions for quantitative X-ray fluorescent analysis have assumed a linear relationship between peak intensity and concentration of the element being analyzed. This assumption is true for soils or sediments containing small amounts of the element in question. In this paper, an equation is derived which takes into account both absorption and enhancement and thus is applicable to samples containing high concentrations of the element. The equation was tested by analyzing an artificial soil sample containing 60% kaolinite and 40% hematite, i.e. the sample contained 28% by weight iron. The fluorescent analysis utilizing the equation derived here resulted in an iron content of 27%. In addition, nine soils from Hawaii were analyzed by this method and the results of these analyses compared with analyses by atomic absorption. The agreement between the two methods is good. It is concluded that the method and equations proposed here provides a reliable measurement of elements in a soil sample which contains high concentrations of the elements in question.

Clays and Clay Minerals; May 1977 v. 25; no. 2; p. 73-77; DOI: 10.1346/CCMN.1977.0250201
© 1977, The Clay Minerals Society
Clay Minerals Society (www.clays.org)