Metals analysis of agricultural soils via portable x-ray fluorescence spectrometry

Wenyou Hu, Biao Huang, David C. Weindorf, Yong Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


To assess the applicability of portable X-ray fluorescence (PXRF) spectrometry for metals analysis, total concentrations of As, Pb, Cu, and Zn in 47 agricultural soils were determined using in situ PXRF analysis, ex situ PXRF analysis, and conventional laboratory analysis. The correlation regression parameters of PXRF data with the data of conventional analysis were significantly improved upon going from in situ to ex situ, indicating that improvement of the ex situ PXRF data quality was achieved thorough sample preparation. Use of PXRF in situ was inferior to other analyses, especially when attempting to quantify relatively low levels of metals in agricultural soils. A high degree of linearity and similar spatial distribution existed between ex situ PXRF and laboratory analysis, suggesting that PXRF can be used in rapid detection or screening of agricultural soils, but is best followed with additional sample preparation ex situ and laboratory confirmation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-426
Number of pages7
JournalBulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Analytical methods
  • Field screening tests
  • In situ XRF
  • Rapid detection


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