Historically, in Soil Science, the analyses of soil physical, chemical and mineralogical properties are characterised by using a large amount of chemical reagents. These methods are time consuming, costly and, in most of cases, non-environmentally friendly as they generate chemical residues.
The X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is a technique capable of identifying and quantifying elemental composition of several solid materials with the use of X-rays, allowing for a chemical characterisation of the analysed material and correlation with other properties. Atoms that compose the structure of the analysed materials are reached by high energy X-rays, promoting a dislodgement of electrons from their original orbit. As the electrons return to their original orbit, they emit energy in fluorescence form that is characteristic of each element. Thus, the elements present in the analysed materials can be identified.
Technological advances enabled the emergence of portable equipment of X-ray fluorescence (pXRF), which has been shown to be a precise, accurate, low cost, rapid, non-destructive and environmentally friendly method to determine elemental composition of soils and other materials.
Worldwide, the pXRF has been recently adopted and successfully used for pedological, agronomic and environmental purposes. pXRF allows Atom Earth to provide precise, cost effective analytical services to the broader community.