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Portable XRF and wet materials; application to dredged contaminated sediments from waterways

Bruno Lemiere, Valerie Laperche, Laurence Haouche and Pascal Auger
Portable XRF and wet materials; application to dredged contaminated sediments from waterways
Geochemistry - Exploration, Environment, Analysis (February 2014) 14 (3): 257-264


The sustainable management of dredged waterway sediments requires on-site determination of the main pollutants to facilitate their safe reuse or treatment. Portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) is commonly used for similar applications with contaminated soil, but the high water content of dredged sediments precludes any application of standard methods. Measurements for Pb, Zn, Cu and As were performed on-site on raw wet sediments with 50 to 70 % water contents during dredging or mapping operations. These results, although two or three times lower than laboratory analyses on the same samples, were found to be related to absolute concentrations closely enough to rank samples. In order to investigate further the feasibility of field analyses on wet sediments, partial dehydration methods were tested. The most efficient technique is based on a hand press. It is simple and quick enough to be used on dredging boats during operations and produces sample pellets with 30 to 50 % water contents. The relationship between pXRF measurements on these pellets and laboratory analyses was found to be sufficiently linear to calculate estimated concentrations. Potential differences were found to be less than 20 % for Pb and Zn. Higher differences for Cu were due to very low concentrations, within twice the limit of detection (LOD). Some limitations were observed. The water content in pellets is variable depending on the sediment type or matrix. The correction factors vary between the measured elements and they may also vary with matrix chemistry. However, Pb-Zn-Cu-As concentrations were ranked and evaluated accurately and the geochemical signatures of the samples were preserved. We demonstrated that, with a simple partial dehydration procedure, pXRF measurements can be reliably related closely enough to absolute concentrations to make field decisions for sediment management. Since the approximately linear relationships between measurements on semi-wet samples and laboratory analyses are matrix- and site-dependent, they must be recognised before using pXRF on wet samples for decision-making.

ISSN: 1467-7873
EISSN: 2041-4943
Serial Title: Geochemistry - Exploration, Environment, Analysis
Serial Volume: 14
Serial Issue: 3
Title: Portable XRF and wet materials; application to dredged contaminated sediments from waterways
Affiliation: Bureau de Recherches Geologiques et Minieres, Environment and Process Division, Orleans, France
Pages: 257-264
Published: 20140204
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society Publishing House, London, United Kingdom
Number of pages: unpaginated
References: 26
Accession Number: 2014-019767
Categories: General geochemistryEnvironmental geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 2 tables
Secondary Affiliation: Institut Scientifique de Service Public, BEL, Belgium
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2019, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data from The Geological Society, London, London, United Kingdom
Update Code: 201413
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