Authors: İBRAHİM KULA, CHRISTIAN GUTSCHE, YUNUS ERDOĞAN, ANDREAS FITTSCHEN, URSULA ELISABETH ADRIANE FITTSCHEN
Abstract: Turkey is the leading country in the world in terms of boron production and sale. Increasing boron production goes along with an increasing generation of boron wastes. The pollution of the soil and the air around the waste piles, as well as the occupation of several square kilometers of ground, are major environmental problems. It is, therefore, very important to make use of the wastes to both protect the environment and create revenue. This work presenteda road map for fast screening of boron waste for critical elements followed by determination of the elements using small footprint low power instrumentation. The sample preparation was kept to a minimum. A procedure that allowed an assessment of critical materials in industrial production waste with minimal consumption of hazardous acids, energy, and time was presented. The samples were first screened for valuable and hazardous elements by micro- X-ray fluorescence (XRF). Samples with considerable contents of Cs, Rb, and Aswere then prepared as slurries for the total reflection XRF (TXRF) measurement. To evaluate the TXRF procedure, a standard reference material was analyzed. As a result, Rb and Cs in concentrations up to 420 ± 70 and 1500 ± 200 mg/kg were detected in some of the waste forms. The time savings were in order of a factor of 3 when comparing the prescreening combined micro-XRF and TXRF approach to an all TXRFanalysis approach.
Keywords: Total reflection X-ray fluorescence, micro-X-ray fluorescence, boron, recycling
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