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Portable XRD for Graphite


Exploration, Mining, and Extraction

Olympus portable X-ray diffractometers (pXRD) provide the geologist and metallurgist with quantitative mineralogy in near real time, across all mineral species. This enables the exploration geologist to make more informed infield decisions. It also provides the metallurgist with the information needed to develop more effective blending strategies and yield better graphite recoveries.

Portable XRD for Graphite

Benefits of Olympus pXRD

The benefits of Olympus’ innovative pXRD analyzers include:

  • Small sample: requires only 15 mg of material
  • Easy sample preparation: does not require a skilled technician
  • Fast acquisition time: obtain results in a few minutes
  • Stand-alone instrument: no need for water cooling or a large, external power source
  • No ongoing servicing requirements: XRD can be performed regularly without downtime
  • Portability: battery-operated, rugged design with no moving parts
Figure 1. Comparison between graphitic carbon and carbon as carbonate as measured by a laboratory compared to estimates from quantitative XRD.
Figure 1. Comparison between graphitic carbon and carbon as carbonate as measured by a laboratory compared to estimates from quantitative XRD.

Olympus pXRD—Data quality and runtime performance

While Olympus pXRD analyzers provide the convenience of quantitative mineralogy onsite, without the need for complicated sample preparation procedures, the user can also be confident in the quality of the results they obtain. To illustrate the quantitative capabilities of the Olympus pXRD products, comparisons have been made with a large, 2 kW, conventional lab-based XRD instrument (Figure 2) at varying run times.

To further illustrate the quantitative capabilities of the Olympus pXRD instruments, comparisons have been made between laboratory assay data and chemistry that has been back-calculated from the results of quantitative mineralogy. The correlation between these results clearly illustrates the excellent quantitative capabilities of our pXRD analyzers (Figure 1).

The sensitivity of XRF analyzers also makes them well suited for detecting trace elements. This feature enables XRF analyzers to be used in other applications such as corrosion inspection. For example, the presence of trace elements such as chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni), and copper (Cu) in carbon steel can indicate corrosion in hydrofluoric (HF) alkylation units, or carbon steel with low (Si) content can exhibit significant accelerated/non-uniform corrosion due to the known sulfidation corrosion process.

Figure 2. The graphs show excellent correlation between the results of quantitative mineralogical analysis obtained from a lab-based, 2 kW XRD instrument and the Olympus TERRA portable XRD analyzer at varying runtimes.
Figure 2. The graphs show excellent correlation between the results of quantitative mineralogical analysis obtained from a lab-based, 2 kW XRD instrument and the Olympus TERRA® portable XRD analyzer at varying runtimes.

Olympus IMS

Products used for this application


TERRA Mobile XRD System

The TERRA Mobile XRD System, a high performing, completely contained, battery operated, closed-beam portable XRD, provides full phase ID of major, minor and trace components with a quick XRF scan of elements Ca – U. Its unique, minimal sample prep technique and sample chamber allow for fast, in-field analysis.

BTX Benchtop XRD System

The BTX Benchtop XRD System is a fast, low cost, small footprint, benchtop XRD for full phase ID of major, minor and trace components and quick XRF scan of elements Ca – U. Its unique, minimal sample prep technique and sample chamber allow for fast, benchtop analysis rivaling the performance of large costly lab units.
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