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At the present time instrumental methods of analysis, such as X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, are finding increasing use. This does not mean however that the traditional “wet” methods of analysis are outdated. On the contrary these methods are still the most convenient for many analyses as well as providing the necessary checks that need to be made regularly on every analytical instrument. Many books have been devoted to the techniques for carrying out accurate “wet” analyses but surprisingly little space has been devoted to the sometimes extremely difficult task of getting samples into solution. It is in this respect that this book satisfies a much wanted need. A comprehensive range of decomposition techniques has been reviewed and great care has been taken to stress where material might be lost or contamination occur. In all cases the descriptions are supported by an extensive list of references so that if in any doubt the reader can go back to the original literature. The book will be invaluable to anyone engaged in chemical analysis, especially the industrial chemist or geologist endeavouring to investigate some highly complex material. By applying one of the appropriate procedures outlined in the book it is possible to speed up the whole analytical procedure as well as increasing its precision, especially when trace elements are being determined.