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LIBS vs XRF: comparing two technologies

For recyclers who sort metals and alloys, in applications where precise understanding of content and composition is paramount, X-ray fluorescence (XRF) based handheld analyzers have been the main tool employed for over a decade. In recent years, however, laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) technology has been used increasingly in metal recycling applications, especially with aluminum and other nonferrous metals, and for light elements. XRF is still considered by most to be the best option for applications in stainless steel and heavy metals, or for recyclers focused on plastics and e-waste sorting.