Journal of Environmental Treatment Techniques  
2021, Volume 9, Issue 1, Pages: 192-195  
J. Environ. Treat. Tech.  
ISSN: 2309-1185  
Journal web link:  
Synchrotron based X-ray fluorescence for trace  
elemental analysis of industrial sludge  
Vijay Kumar Garg , Arun Lal Srivastav , Manoj Kumar Tiwari , Ajay Sharma * and  
Varinder Singh Kanwar1  
Chitkara University School of Engineering and Technology, Chitkara University, Himachal Pradesh-174103, India  
BL-16, Indus-2, Raja Ramana Centre for Advanced Technology, Indore, India  
Received: 12/08/2020  
Accepted: 01/11/2020  
Published: 20/03/2021  
This research article presents the application of the synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence (XRF) technique for the resolution of trace  
elemental accumulation in industrial sludge/waste. The X-ray fluorescence using synchrotron radiation presents an expeditious  
exposition of a wide scale of elements (Sodium to Uranium) together with an ingenuous sample preparation procedure. The present X-  
ray fluorescence studies carried out for the paper and toothpaste industry sludge at synchrotron source (Beam Line -16), Indus-2, Raja  
Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology, Indore, India. The XRF results show very low traces of heavy metals present in paper and  
toothpaste industry sludge and therefore recommend for safe and efficient reuse.  
Keywords: Elemental analysis; synchrotron radiation; industrial sludge and X-ray fluorescence  
sample is atomized because of the primary incident X-ray or  
gamma ray photons. The energy and intensity of the  
characteristic X-rays in the XRF spectra indicate the element  
present and its concentration in the sample. XRF is an  
important technique of elemental analysis for distinct kind of  
samples and it is an extremely responsive technique, which  
follows the principle of interaction of atoms with radiation [4-  
In developing countries, industrial sectors pose significant  
environmental and occupational health risks to its populations.  
As industries are booming and large quantities of industrial  
waste and are being dumped illegally either in open or in the  
nearby riverbeds. World’s urban societies are increasing  
rapidly than the global population, especially in the developing  
countries. Urban growth has created momentous alteration to  
the ecological system by increasing waste accumulation  
through human activities. The techniques which are capable to  
detect the level of metallic elements to ppb limits in a variety  
of environmental, biological as well as geological samples are;  
6]. The principal asset of the X-ray fluorescence method over  
other elemental analysis techniques is its non-destructiveness,  
simultaneous multi-elemental capability, ingenuous sample  
preparation and high resolution for trace elements. Daly et al.  
[7] used EDXRF for elemental analysis dairy processing sludge  
before its application in the agricultural fields and concluded  
that the XRF method is provides rapid and accurate results.  
Mashaly et al. [8] characterized the granite sludge and cement  
on the basis of X-ray fluorescence and studied the feasibility of  
granite sludge in cement replacement. Elemental composition  
of solid residues of sewerage sludge and biomass waste were  
examined using XRF [9]. Zhang et al. [10] evaluated the textile  
dyeing sludge and cattle manure using XRF and their findings  
provided an insight for better reutilization of waste.  
Synchrotron-based XRF can be used to know both quantitative  
and qualitative multi-elemental concentration in very less time  
Atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS)  
Inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry  
ICP-AES) or inductively coupled plasma-mass  
spectrometry (ICP-MS) or Inductively coupled plasma-  
optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES).  
Energy-dispersive X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry (ED-  
XRF) or Wavelength dispersive XRF (WD-XRF)  
Neutron activation analysis (NAA)  
Particle-induced X-ray emission (PIXE)  
For the last 20 years, the energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence  
EDXRF) has advanced diligently. The developments made in  
[11] and it is a non-destructive, most precise and accurate  
semiconductors, digital signal processing and data simulation  
have broadened the usability of the XRF method for  
economical, small-size spectrometers for trace elemental  
analysis in various types of samples [1-3]. X-ray fluorescence  
being a non-destructive analytical method has its own  
merits. XRF analysis provides the composition of a sample by  
quantifying the characteristic X-rays evolved from a sample,  
excited by radiations (Fig. 1). In X-ray fluorescence, individual  
atoms are excited by incident photons, which in turn emit  
secondary photons called as characteristic X-rays (Fig. 1a). In  
XRF spectroscopy, emission of characteristic X-rays of the  
method of trace element determination of all types of samples.  
Furthermore, it can simultaneously determine many elements  
present in a single sample [12]. In India, this facility is available  
at Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology (RRCAT),  
Indore. Presently this technique is being used for the trace  
elemental analysis of sludge samples collected from the paper  
and toothpaste industry, which is abundant in the study area.  
Corresponding author: Ajay Sharma, Chitkara University School of Engineering and Technology, Chitkara University, Himachal  
Pradesh-174103, India. E-mail: