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The abundance of rare-earth elements (REE) and yttrium in geological materials is generally low, and most samples contain elements that interfere in the determination of the REE and Y, so a separation and/or preconcentration step is often necessary. This is often achieved by ion-exchange chromatography with either nitric or hydrochloric acid. It is advantageous, however, to use both acids sequentially. The final solution thus obtained contains only the REE and Y, with minor amounts of Al, Ba, Ca, Sc, Sr and Ti. Elements that potentially interfere, such as Be, Co, Cr, Fe, Mn, Th, U, V and Zr, are virtually eliminated. Inductively-coupled argon plasma atomic-emission spectroscopy can then be used for a final precise and accurate measurement. The method can also be used with other instrumental methods of analysis. ?? 1986.
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Separation and preconcentration of the rare-earth elements and yttrium from geological materials by ion-exchange and sequential acid elution