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The x-ray fluorescence (XRF) beamline, constructed at the Brazilian National Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory (LNLS-http://www.lnls.br), has been operating for the external users since August of 1998 (C. A. Pérez etal, Proc. of the European Conference on Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectrometry, Bologna, Italy, 1998, pp. 125–129). The synchrotron source for this beamline is the D09B (15°) dipole magnet of the LNLS storage ring. Two main experimental setups are mounted at the XRF beamline. One consists of a high vacuum chamber adapted to carry out experiments in grazing excitation conditions. This allows chemical trace and ultratrace element determination on several samples, mainly coming from environmental and biological sciences. Another setup consists of an experimental station, operated in air, in which x-ray fluorescence analysis with spatial resolution can be done. This station is equipped with a fine conical capillary, capable of achieving 20 μm spatial resolution, and with an optical microscope in order to select the region of interest on the sample surface. In this work, the main characteristic of the beamline, experimental stations as well as the description of some new experimental facilities will be given. Future development in the instrumentation focuses on an appropriate x-ray optic to be able to carry out chemical trace analysis of light elements using the total x-ray fluorescence technique. Also, chemical mapping below 10 μm spatial resolution, while keeping high flux of photon on the sample, will be achieved by using the Kirkpatrick–Baez x-ray microfocusing optic. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.