New X-ray technology to reveal the makeup of Africa soils

This work paves the way for the development of environmental quality guidelines for the continent’s soils.

soil_samples_in_a_lab
Soil samples

Scientists at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and partners have adapted a technique commonly used in clinical, archeological, and other applications so it can be used to determine the total chemical composition of the soils of sub-Saharan Africa.

Using the technique, total X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (TXRF), it is now possible to quantify with good accuracy—and with time and cost savings—the concentration of most of the major and trace elements in soils. This work paves the way for the development of environmental quality guidelines (EQGs) for tropical Africa soils, which would allow better-informed land use planning, as reports a new article in the journal Science of the Total Environment. Read more. . .

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