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Arsenic, antimony, bismuth, cadmium, copper, lead, molybdenum, silver and zinc are very useful elements in geochemical exploration. In the proposed method, geological samples are fused with potassium pyrosulphate and the fusate is dissolved in a solution of hydrochloric acid, ascorbic acid and potassium iodide. When this solution is shaken with a 10% V/V Aliquat 336 - isobutyl methyl ketone organic phase, the nine elements of interest are selectively partitioned in the organic phase. All nine elements can then be determined in the organic phase using flame atomic-absorption spectrometry. The method is rapid and allows the determination of Ag and Cd at levels down to 0.1 p.p.m., Cu, Mo, and Zn down to 0.5 p.p.m., Pb, Bi and Sb down to 1 p.p.m. and As down to 5 p.p.m. in geological materials.
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Determination of arsenic, antimony, bismuth, cadmium, copper, lead, molybdenum, silver and zinc in geological materials by atomic-absorption spectrometry