Image:  Inorganics/Radiochemistry


Contamination from inorganic elements is prevalent in today's environment. The useful properties of metals give them many industrial and domestic applications. Because of the toxicity of some of these elements, environmental monitoring is important to public health. With the use of atomic emission and absorption spectroscopy, atomic emission mass spectrometry, ion chromatography, and spectrophotometry, the Inorganics Section in the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) can quantify any inorganic element in any matrix at virtually any detection limit. The section's experience in assessing data meets environmental needs and provides a complete service to the client. Quality control is a part of every analytical system at SwRI to provide reliable and defensible results.

Michael J. Dammann, Acting Manager

Inorganics Technical Strengths

  • Major and minor elemental analysis to determine the purity of a product or possible contaminants in samples, such as soil, air, rock, and other geological materials
  • Purity determinations on such materials as chemicals and chemical products, plastics, ceramics, and silicones
  • Full profiles of alloys, metallics, and semimetallics
  • Determination of the extent of inorganic contamination in fish tissue, saltwater, groundwater, biota, and air samples
  • Detection of ultra-low-level contamination of elements in ultra-clean water and reagents used in the semiconductor industry
  • Leachability studies on soil and water supplies to determine the extent of contamination in the surrounding environment
  • Toxicity leaching (Environmental Protection Agency method) of solid waste so landfills adhere to federal regulations
  • Studies to determine the in situ guidelines for biodegradability, as well as determining the degradation products
  • Monitor drinking water supplies to maintain acceptable federal guideline limits for the safety of public health
Image:  Inorganics/Radiochemistry


To meet growing concerns about the radioactive levels in mixed wastes and other samples, the Radiochemistry Section in the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division has established a dedicated facility to identify and quantify more than 400 isotopes.

With a broad form Radioactive Materials License issued by the Texas Department of Public Health, SwRI can collect and store up to 500 milliCuries of a single radioisotope from atomic numbers 1 through 83.

Michael J. Dammann, Acting Manager

Radiochemistry Technical Strengths

  • Radioactive tracer studies
  • Environmental analysis
  • Nuclear medicinal analysis
  • Method development
Benefiting government, industry and the public through innovative science and technology
Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 9 technical divisions.