Sep. 18, 2000 The Naval Research Laboratory has received a patent for a faster, safer device for measuring concentrations of metals in soil in hazardous waste environments.
NRL's invention is a hand-held X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy device that can be used to make real-time fluorescence measurements of soil and sediment samples. An integral cone tip penetrometer is used to gain access to the underground soil sample, so the fluorescence measurements may be made in place, without removing the sample from the ground.
The X-ray fluorescence technique enables an operator to determine the presence of even very slight concentrations (less than 100 parts per million by weight) of metals that are typically found in an environmentally contaminated site. This is particularly useful for the initial survey of contamination of hazardous waste sites or locations.
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