The most obvious advantage of field portable XRF spectrometers is that “fit-for-purpose” data can be rapidly collected in the field. Although standard factory calibration of pXRF instruments mostly yields precise data, data is typically very inaccurate. Therefore, in order to obtain meaningful and comparable numbers, quantitative analysis of complex geological materials requires a previous orientation study and elaborate analytical protocols.
To assure the quality of the data, standard measurement procedures should include the use of certified reference materials, blanks, and duplicate analysis. Moreover, matrix-matched calibration of the pXRF instrument using case study specific standards or a suite of site-specific samples of known composition will ensure pXRF data that are both accurate and precise.
The LoCoSu project will develop analytical protocols for the analysis of critical raw materials in rock powders (dry and moist), drill cores, and rock slabs.