Portland cement manufacturing is an energy-intensive process that accounts for 6–8% of the world’s fuel use and approximately 5% of man-made global CO2 emissions. The industry uses a nuclear radiation-based technology called prompt gamma neutron activation analysis (PGNAA), which offers highly accurate (within 0.1 wt%) inline measurement of the elemental composition of 100% of the raw material input. Although PGNAA systems are widely utilized, they are suitable only for heavy, dense materials that produce strong signals, such as cement raw materials. XRSciences — a Carlsbad, CA-based startup funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) — has overcome the PGNAA signal-strength limitation.
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