Elemental analysis of fuel oil is an important step in quantifying its quality. Combustion of fuels containing metals can lead to the formation of low melting-point compounds that are corrosive to metal parts. The presence of certain metals, even at trace levels, can deactivate or foul catalysts used during the processing of the oil. ASTM® International publishes numerous test methods for the analysis of petroleum products, including fuel oils. ASTM® D5863-00a (2005), “Standard Test Methods for Determination of Nickel, Vanadium, Iron, and Sodium in Crude Oils and Residual Fuels by Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrometry”, is an industry-standard method for the analysis of fuel oils. Due to its multi-element capabilities, inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) may be the preferred technique for petroleum analyses requiring many elements, however, flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry (FAAS) methods are still quite effective and rapid for smaller numbers of elements such as those required for fuel oil analyses. In addition, flame AA instrumentation is significantly more compact than ICP-OES instruments, costs a fraction of the price, and requires less operator training.