Quantitative and Rapid Elemental Analysis for Forensic Sourcing of Ordinary Portland Cement

We describe herein a novel approach to identifying and sourcing Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) by measuring the trace element contents, employing simultaneous elemental analysis through total reflection X-ray fluorescence (TXRF) spectroscopy. In contrast to state-of-the-art micrography for sourcing purposes, the established protocol is simple, highly reproducible, minimizes human errors introducible by data interpretation, and does not require extensive training. Our experimental studies in combination with a detailed statistical analysis provide a rapid and quantitative strategy for distinguishing samples of OPC from different sources and have the potential to be applied as a routine measurement for sourcing purposes in forensic applications.