British Columbia Mine Reclamation Symposium

Development of a field-portable x-ray fluorescence system for on-site hazardous waste screening Raab, Gregory Alan; Faber, Marianne L.; Simon, S. J.; Eccles, Lawrence A.


Identifying, characterizing, and monitoring the large number of hazardous waste sites in the United States is a difficult, complex task. Development of a field-portable x-ray fluorescence system and of the associated sampling and analytical protocols may simplify one aspect of this task: the screening of hazardous waste sites for inorganic contaminants. Ve are investigating the capabilities of commercial systems that are in the design, prototype, and commercial stages of development, and we are providing input into the development of a federally funded prototype. By using off-the-shelf and prototype instruments in the field, we are able to compare their capabilities, refine instrument performance requirements, develop standard reference samples and standardized field methodology, and provide real-world assistance to regional personnel, A planned market survey will help us identify the range of usefulness of the technique with the aim of advancing the federally funded prototype to production through a contract with a commercial manufacturer. We have already produced tangible results in many of these areas; additional funding must be approved to advance some aspects of the project. In tandem with the effort to develop this technology for use in sampling soils at hazardous waste sites, we are exploring the applicability of the technique to identifying contaminants in wastewater, ground water, living plant tissues, and building materials; and to determining the length of time that must pass before zeolite-amended contaminated soils Can safely be vegetated.

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