Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 153-182, 2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Review Status
This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Fast two-dimensional GC-MS with thermal extraction for anhydro-sugars in fine aerosols
Y. Ma1,*, M. D. Hays1, C. D. Geron1, J. T. Walker1, and M. J. Gatari Gichuru2
1National Risk Management Research Laboratory, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27711, USA
2Institute of Nuclear Science & Technology, College of Architecture and Engineering, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
*now at: California Air Resources Board, 9528 Telstar Avenue, El Monte, CA 91731, USA

Abstract. A fast two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC-MS) method that uses heart-cutting and thermal extraction (TE) and requires no chemical derivatization was developed for the determination of anhydro-sugars in fine aerosols. Evaluation of the TE-GC-GC-MS method shows high average relative accuracy (≥90%), reproducibility (≤10% relative standard deviation), detection limits of less than 3 ng/μL, and negligible carryover for levoglucosan, mannosan, and galactosan markers. TE-GC-GC-MS- and solvent extraction (SE)-GC-MS-measured levoglucosan concentrations correlate across several diverse types of biomass burning aerosols. Because the SE-GC-MS measurements were taken 8 years prior to the TE-GC-GC-MS ones, the stability of levoglucosan is established for quartz filter-collected biomass burning aerosol samples stored at ultra-low temperature (–45°C). Levoglucosan concentrations (w/w) in aerosols collected following atmospheric dilution near open fires of varying intensity are similar to those in biomass burning aerosols produced in a laboratory enclosure. An average levoglucosan-mannosan-galactosan ratio of 15:2:1 is observed for these two aerosol sets. TE-GC-GC-MS analysis of atmospheric aerosols from the US and Africa produced levoglucosan concentrations (0.01–1.6 μg/m3) well within those reported for aerosols collected globally and examined using different analytical techniques (0.004–7.6 μg/m3). Further comparisons among techniques suggest that fast TE-GC-GC-MS is among the most sensitive, accurate, and precise methods for compound-specific quantification of anhydro-sugars. In addition, an approximately twofold increase in aerosol sample throughput may be realized when combining TE with fast chromatography for anhydro-sugar determination.

Citation: Ma, Y., Hays, M. D., Geron, C. D., Walker, J. T., and Gatari Gichuru, M. J.: Fast two-dimensional GC-MS with thermal extraction for anhydro-sugars in fine aerosols, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 153-182, doi:10.5194/acpd-10-153-2010, 2010.
Search ACPD
Discussion Paper
    Final Revised Paper