Implementation of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy as a continuous emissions monitor for toxic metals

Steven G. Buckley, Howard A. Johnsen, Kenneth R. Hencken, And David W. Hahn

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) has been considered for some time as a potential CEM method for toxic metals. Recently, improvements in sampling methodology and signal processing have allowed LIBS to achieve detection limits below the proposed MACT limits for 5 out of 6 of the RCRA metals. This paper discusses performance improved by nearly 2 orders of magnitude of this in situ monitoring technique following implementation of conditional analysis. Results from trial burns at two incinerators and at a DoD contained burn facility are highlighted. At the incinerators, implementation of conditional analysis yielded much lower detection limits than previously reported using the LIBS technique. At the contained burn facility, reproducible, transient Pb measurements were recorded in real-time for concentration values that varied by more than two orders of magnitude. Method detection limits of between 2 and 100 μg/dscm are reported for toxic metals Be, Cd, Cr, Hg, and Pb. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-462
Number of pages8
JournalWaste Management
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Oct 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Continuous emission monitor
  • Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS)
  • Toxic metals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Waste Management and Disposal


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