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Abstract

The feasiblity of using a portable analytical instrument, the Niton XRF XLt 500He, was tested as a technique for sulfur analysis of wet sediment samples in the field. The effect of sample preparation on the precision and accuracy of sulfur determination was specifically evaluated. The Niton XRF XLt 500He uses X-ray fluorescence (XRF) to detect different elements. This unit employs a helium purge to allow the analysis of elements lighter than potassium. Samples with sulfur varying from 0.3 to 2.0% were successfully measured with the instrument. The precision of the unit is excellent and the limit of detection can be extremely low with careful attention to sample preparation. The instrumental limit of detection for sulfur was estimated as 70 ppm.

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