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Our X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) Laboratory in Adelaide offers a range of analytical services on a fee for service basis on most mineral and plant samples. These analyses depend on the sample type, sample amount, and whether analysis is carried out for major (% level) or trace (ppm level) analysis. The results of these services are available within a few days of submission, even overnight if required.

Equipment and services in XRF for minerals, soils and plants

The Adelaide XRF Laboratory is recognised as a centre of excellence for XRF spectrometry in Australia. It houses one wavelength-dispersive XRF instrument and one energy-dispersive instrument. The Laboratory provides specialised XRF services, including a range of sample preparation facilities and the analysis of a wide variety of sample types including soils, ores, mineral sands, and plant materials.

The XRF Laboratory conducts contract research and development for Australian universities and industry. In addition, the Laboratory in collaboration with the X-Ray Diffraction Laboratory provides a comprehensive range of analytical services to the CSIRO research community as well as Australian industry.

Analysis types provided by the XRF lab

The following is a general guide to the type of analysis provided by the XRF Laboratory:

  • Major Elemental Analysis: Using 150-400 mg of sample, major element analysis can be carried out for Fe, Mn, Ti, Ca, K, S, Cl, P, Si, Al, Mg, Na, Sr, and Zr. Results can be reported as oxides either on "as received" or "an oven-dried" basis.
  • Trace and Major Elemental Analysis: Using 300-1000 mg of sample, major and trace element analysis can be carried out for P, Na, Mg, Al, Si, Ti, Mn, Cu, Zn, Sr, Zr, Ni, Rb, Ba, V, Cr, La, Ce, Y, Co, Ga, U, Fe, K, Ca, S, As, Th, and Pb. The majors are reported as oxides and the traces as elements. This analysis is generally carried out on "an oven-dried" basis.
  • Plant Analysis: Using approximately 5 g of dry material, analysis is carried out for Zn, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ca, K, Cl, P, Si, Al, Mg, Na, and speciation of S (SO42-, co-valent S, and total S). Plant samples are generally ground and pressed into 32mm discs and analysed directly. The plant analyses are non-destructive so the XRF analysed material is available for further work.

Our proud history in XRF spectrometry

The application of X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) to elemental analysis at the CSIRO Land and Water Adelaide Laboratory goes back to the early days of XRF spectrometry. In 1950, Edward Radoslovich developed an XRF spectrograph to carry out quantitative analysis of certain major elements in soil colloids and to use as a complementary technique to optical spectrography for the analysis of heavier non-metals.

Since this early work, Dr. Keith Norrish and his colleagues developed a number of XRF methods for the analysis of mineralogical and plant materials. The Adelaide XRF Laboratory has also provided assistance to the Australian mining industry to establish methods for monitoring and production.

Use this service

To use our XRF services, please contact:

Mark Raven

Research Projects Officer (Land & Water)

Waite Campus
Entrance 4, Waite Road
SA 5064

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