Trace analysis of estuarine brown algae by energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
X-ray spectrometry. - London
, p. 159-163
University of Antwerp
Brown algae, which are good indicators for estuarine metal pollution, can advantageously be analysed by energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence. The use of thin film samples and samples of intermediate thickness has several advantages over the conventional thick pellet procedure. A quite homogeneous thin target is prepared by suspending 15 mg of dried and ground seaweed powder in bi-distilled water and evaporating the slurry on a 10 cm2 Mylar foil held in a Teflon ring. The effective sample weight in the beam is calculated by a procedure based on the scatter peaks in the spectrum. Sensitivities are typically in the 215 ppm range. The coefficient of variation per analysis averaged over ten elements amounts to 10%. The natural concentration variation in seaweed specimens at one location is 13%. Samples from locations in the more polluted western Scheldt estuary yield significantly higher values for several elements, relative to the eastern Scheldt sites. Possible trace element variations between the top and base of plants, and between different seaweed specimens and sampling seasons, are discussed.