Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 13969-14011, 2010
www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/10/13969/2010/
doi:10.5194/acpd-10-13969-2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Analysis of the chemical composition of organic aerosol at the Mt. Sonnblick observatory using a novel high mass resolution thermal-desorption proton-transfer-reaction mass-spectrometer (hr-TD-PTR-MS)
R. Holzinger1, A. Kasper-Giebl2, M. Staudinger3, G. Schauer3, and T. Röckmann1
1Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht, Princetonplein 5, 3584 CC, Utrecht, The Netherlands
2Vienna Univ. Technol, Inst Chem Technol, Vienna, Austria
3Reg Stelle Salzburg, Zent Anstalt Meteorol & Geodynam, 5020 Salzburg, Austria

Abstract. For the first time a high mass resolution thermal desorption proton transfer reaction mass spectrometer (hr-TD-PTR-MS) was deployed in the field to analyze the composition of the organic fraction of aerosols. We report on measurements from the remote Mt. Sonnblick observatory in the Austrian alps (3108 m a.s.l.) during a 7 week period in summer 2009. A total of 638 mass peaks in the range 18–392 Da were detected and quantified in aerosols. An empirical formula was tentatively attributed to 464 of these compounds by custom-made data analysis routines which consider compounds containing C, H, O, N, and S atoms. Most of the other (unidentified) compounds must contain other elements – most likely halogenated compounds. The mean total concentration of all detected compounds was 1.1 μg m−3. Oxygenated hydrocarbons constitute the bulk of the aerosol mass (75%) followed by organic nitrogen compounds (9%), inorganic compounds (mostly NH3, 8%), unidentified/halogenated (3.8%), hydrocarbons (2.7%), and organic sulfur compounds (0.8%). The measured O/C ratios are lower than expected and suggest a significant effect from charring. A significant part of the organic nitrogen compounds is non volatile. Organic carbon concentrations measured with TD-PTR-MS were about 25% lower than measurements on high volume filter samples.

Citation: Holzinger, R., Kasper-Giebl, A., Staudinger, M., Schauer, G., and Röckmann, T.: Analysis of the chemical composition of organic aerosol at the Mt. Sonnblick observatory using a novel high mass resolution thermal-desorption proton-transfer-reaction mass-spectrometer (hr-TD-PTR-MS), Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 13969-14011, doi:10.5194/acpd-10-13969-2010, 2010.
 
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