An improved, automated method for the determination of arsenic and antimony in geological materials is described. After digestion of the material in sulfuric, nitric, hydrofluoric and perchloric acids, a hydrochloric acid solution of the sample is automatically mixed with reducing agents, acidified with additional hydrochloric acid, and treated with a sodium tetrahydroborate solution to form arsine and stibine. The hydrides are decomposed in a heated quartz tube in the optical path of an atomic absorption spectrometer. The absorbance peak height for arsenic or antimony is measured. Interferences that exist are minimized to the point where most geological materials including coals, soils, coal ashes, rocks and sediments can be analyzed directly without use of standard additions. The relative standard deviation of the digestion and the instrumental procedure is less than 2% at the 50 ??g l-1 As or Sb level. The reagent-blank detection limit is 0.2 ??g l-1 As or Sb. ?? 1982.
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An improved method for the determination of trace levels of arsenic and antimony in geological materials by automated hydride generation-atomic absorption spectroscopy