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Accurate normalization of X-ray absorption data is essential for quantitative analysis of near-edge features. A method, implemented as the program MBACK, to normalize X-ray absorption data to tabulated mass absorption coefficients is described. Comparison of conventional normalization methods with MBACK demonstrates that the new normalization method is not sensitive to the shape of the background function, thus allowing accurate comparison of data collected in transmission mode with data collected using fluorescence ion chambers or solid-state fluorescence detectors. The new method is shown to have better reliability and consistency and smaller errors than conventional normalization methods. The sensitivity of the new normalization method is illustrated by analysis of data collected during an equilibrium titration.

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