Prompt-gamma neutron activation analysis (PGNAA) is a technique used for determining the presence and amount of many elements simultaneously in samples ranging in size from small to very large.

It is a non-destructive method, providing real-time analysis through continuous measurement of the elemental composition of the material under test.

The sample is continuously irradiated with a beam of neutrons from a californium-252 source. The elements of the sample absorb these neutrons and emit prompt gamma rays which are captured by a sodium-iodized crystal and measured with a spectrometer. Each element emits a unique gamma ray. The energies of these gamma rays identify the neutron-capturing elements, and the intensities of the peaks at these energies reveal their concentrations. Customers use this information to analyze the composition and the quantities of elements such as sulfur, silicon, calcium, oxides, carbon, etc., which then are used to determine total moisture and a more accurate BTU.

PGNAA applications include the analysis of coal, cement, and other minerals.

Prompt Gamma-Neutron Activation Analysis (PGNAA) Project Highlights

Product Name

PGNAA Bulk Material Analyzers

Product Description

Detects composition of elements for coal, cement, slurry, and minerals

Capabilities Applied/Processes


Equipment Used to Manufacture Part

Internal Process

Overall Part Dimensions

Customized to meet the requirements of customers’ unique applications
Customize source activity in the mid-max range

Source Replenishments

CF-252 half life is 2.645 years

Industry for Use


Standards Met

49 CFR

Return Depleted Sources

Allows customers to dispose of depleted source