Advanced Concepts in Fluorescence Sensing: 10 (Topics in Fluorescence Spectroscopy)

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Properly collected and processed, these wastes can be a valuable energy source or be refined to produce usable products such as new lubricating oil. However waste oil is usually contaminated, because of its previous use, with water and other liquids, halogens and other elements including heavy metals. In most countries it is regarded as potentially hazardous waste and must be handled, processed and stored accordingly.

Its transport, storage and ultimate uses are governed by a variety of direct and indirect national and international legislation and industry standards. A worldwide specialist industry has developed to collect, transport and process waste oil and to market the products derived from it. Elemental analysis is an essential part of the environmental protection and quality control procedures associated with the recycling of waste oil.

This paper describes these techniques and how the range of instruments from SPECTRO Analytical Instruments meet the current and future requirements for elemental analysis in the waste oil recycling industry. Regulations restricting the use of hazardous substances in manufacturing are proliferating worldwide.

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Their aim: reducing the health and environmental impacts of certain harmful materials in consumer goods and other products. Different standards apply in different countries, affecting products from electrical and electronic components to toys and cosmetics, as well as raw materials and additives. Fortunately, analytical technology has kept pace with regulatory demands. Analyzers employing X-ray fluorescence XRF spectrometry have evolved excellent capabilities for rapid screening.

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Its design also enables adding new elements via simple software updates. This paper will focus on benchtop XRF instrumentation, while noting where other analyzer types are recommended. Click here to request this paper. Explosions, fires, and other incidents in industrial environments receive wide publicity.

Financial losses to operators and insurers can easily run to many millions of dollars. Not infrequently, these incidents are traced to the use of piping, valves, and similar components made of inappropriate materials. In many cases, the presence or absence of a particular alloying element in a steel component is critical to its performance but impossible to detect by physical inspection.

This new paper reviews several situations that occur regularly and then explains the leading technologies and the instruments that are most effective in detecting the inappropriate alloying elements. Click here to download this paper.


Precious metals require — and reward — careful analysis. But analysts face various difficulties. Most of these metals are resistant to dissolution by all but the strongest acids. Some traditional analytical methods like fire assay are time-consuming and demand a high level of skill. Three modern techniques offer widely used solutions. Energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence ED-XRF and optical emission spectrometry OES can be used without specialist analytical training to rapidly and accurately analyze bullion, jewelry, and alloys.

A variation of OES, inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry ICP-OES , is an ideal tool for the analysis of bulk materials such as ores, and for the determination of trace impurities. This paper describes their application to precious metals analysis. Over million tons of metal is recycled each year. Recycling conserves precious natural resources, and the benefits to the environment in saved energy and reduced greenhouse gas emissions are also well recognized. Scrap metal in a raw, unsorted form has low monetary value, is bulky and expensive to handle and transport, and attracts low margins as a trade commodity.

Manual sorting based on appearance, magnetic behavior and similar physical properties to identify higher value metals is labor intensive, inaccurate and unreliable. You can request this White Paper here. By continuing to use the site, you agree to our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Many specialized aluminum alloys have been developed for applications such as aviation and the automotive industry and these command premium prices, both as new material and scrap. It is therefore in the best interest of the recycler to identify input material and separate the various grades before processing.

This is best done by elemental analysis. Laboratory analysis is sometimes not feasible or necessary and expensive and can involve unacceptable delays. But modern mobile and portable analyzers are available that can handle the necessary analyses on site to provide accurate and positive material identification even when used by non-specialist operators. Be it as packaging, in automobiles and above all in the electrical, electronics and toy industries. The properties of the plastics are very different, from extremely rigid to extremely flexible, everything is possible — and in the most diverse colors.

These properties are achieved by blending additives to the raw polymer. It is also often necessary to prove that a part made of plastic complies with legal requirements. The more well-known regulations here are the directive on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment RoHS , the directive on packaging and packaging waste and the directive on end-of-life vehicles ELV.

This White Paper examines to what extent X-ray fluorescence analysis is an appropriate technique for the elemental analysis of polymers. Whitepaper Elemental Compliance Screening PDF, en Regulations restricting the use of hazardous substances in manufacturing are proliferating worldwide. Laboratory and QC managers should consider their current instruments, then review the latest improvements — including substantial advances in performance, capabilities, and cost of ownership — that the best new ED-XRF analyzers can offer.

You may find that the choice to upgrade becomes inevitable. Realizing this benefit, however, requires eliminating potential errors that can result when atoms in the sample matrix influence the fluorescence of others and thus the intensities measured by the spectrometer are influenced. Such effects, which include absorption and enhancement, when taken collectively, are referred to generally as matrix effects.

For quality control applications, when the sample matrix is known or can be matched, a variety of standards-based XRF calculation procedures are available to compensate for undesirable matrix effects. However, creating the right basis for consistently high-accuracy results requires additional spectra handling functionality to determine the correct net intensities of the measured spectra. This paper explains why this additional functionality is a critical aspect of overcoming matrix effects and ensuring those consistently high-accuracy results.

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The high monetary value of gold and silver — as well as of the platinum-group metals platinum, iridium, palladium, osmium, rhodium, and ruthenium — means that purity is a prime consideration when trading in these metals, or in jewelry or other products made from them. The presence of other elements in minor or trace amounts can sometimes be difficult to detect but can have a dramatic effect on value. Energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence ED-XRF spectrometers are now the preferred means of analysis at many of these points.

Instrument makers constantly seek to improve their designs. Better performance can make important differences in several of these applications. This paper examines the use of a recently redesigned XRF instrument. With considerable improvement on already high levels of precision and speed, it provided excellent analytical results for precious metals testing.

Fluroscence spectroscopy / flurometry /spectroflurometry

The applications vary widely and in many cases the precise determination of major and minor element concentrations is critical. Typically wavelength-dispersive X-ray fluorescence WD-XRF instruments are used for these applications as they are known to provide the required precision. However, modern instruments have reached a level of precision comparable to that achievable with WD-XRF. Using polarization and direct excitation technologies, it proved a powerful analytical tool to satisfy the needs of high precision and accuracy.

According to the present state of the art, approx. Analysis as close to the production site as possible is used for both quality control of the process and also for evaluating the usability of the slag as a material for recycling. Traditionally, samples are milled after crushing and either prepared as pressed pellets or as Lithiumtetraborate fused beads and then analyzed with XRF.

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Wavelength-dispersive XRF spectrometers have predominantly been used for this application. Using a combination of polarized with direct excitation with state-of-the art detector technology, high precision can be achieved with short measurement times s per sample. This paper covers the use of one such instrument to analyze typical elements of interest when analyzing blast furnace slag. An alternative for the fairly expensive fresh vegetable oil is recycled vegetable oil derived from the food industry.

An elemental analysis of the pure FAME, the used vegetable oil, the reprocessed vegetable oil; as well as of the biofuel blends is required to show compliance with actual specifications. Sulfur is not part of these methods and is determined using different technologies.

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The analysis requires some sample preparation and in-vestment in purchase and operating cost of the analyser. With considerable improvement on already high levels of precision and speed, it provided excellent analytical results. Zinc deficiency is linked to diarrhea, which kills nine million children a year.

Micronutrient supplementation can go a long way to reversing such conditions, and farmers around the world are stepping up efforts to breed zinc- and iron-rich grains. As these grains find their way into infant cereals, milk-based powders, and premixes, precise monitoring of nutrient content is critical. Traditional lab-based quality control methods add substantial costs and delays to a process already operating with thin margins.

Promising to change all of this is a new generation of high-resolution rapid screening technology that uses ED-XRF spectroscopy in an instrument designed specifically to conduct lab-quality elemental analyses at the production line. With astonishing improvements in portable energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence ED-XRF , petroleum geology engineers are now relying on this technology to rapidly characterize important samples in remote areas with minimal preparation and very high accuracy of analysis.

ED-XRF instruments utilizing this technique have excellent analytical range and precision and low limits of detection. They can provide quick lab-quality analysis on a variety of geological matrices with a single calibration. These new instruments are providing crucial information on potential wells helping engineers to characterize a basin and determine optimal conditions for pumping. Most countries have enacted increasingly stringent food and safety legislation.

Traditional lab-based quality control elemental analysis methods, ICP-OES or AAS, have been used successfully for years but add substantial costs and delays to processing schedules.

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Promising to change all of this is a new generation of high-resolution rapid screening technology that uses ED-XRF spectroscopy in an instrument designed specifically to conduct lab-quality elemental analyses right at the production line. This paper explains how the new, portable instruments are being used for rapid at-line elemental analysis to detect metals in food and shows the precise analytical results that they can provide. Click here to download this paper Application Brief: Analysis of Soil and Sewage Sludge in the Field with a Portable ED-XRF Spectrometer XRFAB Arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, selenium, silver, and zinc are among the many contaminants that enter the environment through industrial, agricultural, other human activities and sometimes through natural causes.

Addressing a contaminated site first requires identifying the contaminating elements and then determining the amounts that are present. Then a course of action can be prescribed for cleaning, removing, or isolating the affected areas. Determining the best course of action naturally requires detailed and precise information and this work has traditionally has been done in a laboratory.

But ferrying samples back and forth to a laboratory can add considerable time and cost to the remediation process.

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  • Dr Geddes has published over scientific articles, papers, review articles, books and book chapters on the principles and applications of fluorescence. Joseph R. Lakowicz has published over scientific articles, has edited numerous books, holds 16 issued patents, and is the author of the widely used text, Principles of Fluorescence Spectroscopy. JavaScript is currently disabled, this site works much better if you enable JavaScript in your browser.

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