The advantages that can be realized through the use of a high current dc arc for the emission spectrographic analysis of ashed biological materials are presented. The method described utilizes 5–10 mg of ash per analysis and provides detection limits between 1 and 50 parts per billion (on the original dry weight basis) for a large number of elements. The precision estimates of the method, based on four replicate analyses, are generally better than ±20% and comparative analyses suggest that the accuracies are within these limits. Data is presented which supports the possibility of using a single analytical curve for several different types of ashed biological materials.

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