Articles | Volume 16, issue 21
Research article
08 Nov 2023
Research article |  | 08 Nov 2023

Measurements of volatile organic compounds in ambient air by gas-chromatography and real-time Vocus PTR-TOF-MS: calibrations, instrument background corrections, and introducing a PTR Data Toolkit

Andrew R. Jensen, Abigail R. Koss, Ryder B. Hales, and Joost A. de Gouw

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Cited articles

Allers, M., Kirk, A. T., Schaefer, C., Erdogdu, D., Wissdorf, W., Benter, T., and Zimmermann, S.: Field-Dependent Reduced Ion Mobilities of Positive and Negative Ions in Air and Nitrogen in High Kinetic Energy Ion Mobility Spectrometry (HiKE-IMS), J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectr., 31, 2191–2201,, 2020. 
Alton, M. W. and Browne, E. C.: Atmospheric Chemistry of Volatile Methyl Siloxanes: Kinetics and Products of Oxidation by OH Radicals and Cl Atoms, Environ. Sci. Tech., 54, 5992–5999,, 2020. 
Alton, M. W. and Browne, E. C.: Atmospheric Degradation of Cyclic Volatile Methyl Siloxanes: Radical Chemistry and Oxidation Products, ACS Environ. Au, 2, 263–274,, 2022. 
Antony Joseph, M. J., McIntosh, D. G., Gibson, J. R., and Taylor, S.: Effects of the source gap on transmission efficiency of a quadrupole mass spectrometer, Rapid Commun. Mass Sp., 32, 677–685,, 2018. 
Atamaleki, A., Motesaddi Zarandi, S., Massoudinejad, M., Hesam, G., Naimi, N., Esrafili, A., Fakhri, Y., and Mousavi Khaneghah, A.: Emission of aldehydes from different cooking processes: a review study, Air Qual. Atmos. Hlth., 15, 1183–1204,, 2022. 
Short summary
Quantification of a wide range of volatile organic compounds by proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) can be achieved with direct calibration of only a subset of compounds, characterization of instrument response, and simple reaction kinetics. We characterized our Vocus PTR-MS and developed a toolkit as a guide through this process. A catalytic zero air generator provided the lowest detection limits, and short, frequent calibrations informed variability in instrument response.