The application of instrumental techniques to the analysis of barium, calcium, and strontium in milligram-size samples of mixed alkaline earth carbonates was examined. The techniques investigated were atomic absorption spectroscopy, flame photometry, and x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy. The instrumental methods were evaluated on the basis of ease of manipulation, accuracy, and precision. Of the three methods, only atomic absorption spectroscopy fulfilled all the requirements of precision and simplicity. It is a rapid analytical method which does not require chemical separations. Precision of 1% to 2% for each of the elements is obtainable with milligram-size samples.
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