Influence of ashing techniques on the analysis of trace elements in biological samples - II. Dry ashing

Michael S. Clegg, Carl L Keen, Bo Lönnerdal, Lucille S. Hurley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Dry ashing and wet ashing are two commonly used methods for the preparation of biological materials for trace element analysis by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. In this paper, National Bureau of Standards (NBS) bovine liver was dry ashed at 450°C for 24 h in silica glass (Vycor) or procelain crucibles; the resulting ash was dissolved in either concentrated nitric or hydrochloric acid. Dry ashing efficiency was evaluated by comparing iron, copper, zinc, and manganese concentrations of the samples with the values certified by NBS. Highest recoveries were obtained by dry ashing in silica glass (Vycor) crucibles. Dissolving the resultant ash in either hydrochloric or nitric acids did not significantly alter the results. A comparison between dry and wet ashing shows the latter method to be superior for the preparation of biological tissues for analysis of iron, copper, zinc, and manganese.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-244
Number of pages8
JournalBiological Trace Element Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1981


  • analysis, of trace elements in biological samples
  • Ashing techniques, and biotrace element analysis
  • copper analysis, in biological samples
  • dry ashing, in biotrace element analysis
  • iron analysis, in biological samples
  • manganese analysis, in biological samples
  • trace element analysis, in biological samples
  • zinc analysis, in biological samples

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Endocrinology


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