Electron microscopy helps get to the source of soil pollution

The long-term cooperation of Martina Vítková with TESCAN Ltd. (a Czech company producing electron microscopes) resulted in publishing a popular-educational article on the use of electron microscopy for studying soil pollution.

Our work involves finding micro-meter particles in soil samples to identify the source of the contamination. In scanning electron microscope (SEM) images, heavier particles appear brighter than a dark background. Therefore, the target hazardous “heavy” metals are highlighted using chemical contrast mode. The SEMs are equipped with EDS detectors, which provide accurate information about the chemical composition of the displayed particle. Electron microscopy is used not only for the detection of metals in the soil, but also in the application of new remediation technologies. One of the main advantages of electron microscopy is the ability to visualize the used sorbent in detail and thus verify its functionality and the efficiency of capturing contaminating metals.

Read the whole article here.

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