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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 9, issue 8
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 9, 3661–3671, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-9-3661-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 9, 3661–3671, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-9-3661-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 09 Aug 2016

Research article | 09 Aug 2016

Potential of needle trap microextraction–portable gas chromatography–mass spectrometry for measurement of atmospheric volatile compounds

Luís Miguel Feijó Barreira1, Yu Xue1, Geoffroy Duporté1, Jevgeni Parshintsev1, Kari Hartonen1, Matti Jussila1, Markku Kulmala2, and Marja-Liisa Riekkola1 Luís Miguel Feijó Barreira et al.
  • 1Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, P.O. Box 55, 00014, Finland
  • 2Division of Atmospheric Sciences, Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, P.O. Box 64, 00014, Finland

Abstract. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) play a key role in atmospheric chemistry and physics. They participate in photochemical reactions in the atmosphere, which have direct implications on climate through, e.g. aerosol particle formation. Forests are important sources of VOCs, and the limited resources and infrastructures often found in many remote environments call for the development of portable devices. In this research, the potential of needle trap microextraction and portable gas chromatography–mass spectrometry for the study of VOCs at forest site was evaluated. Measurements were performed in summer and autumn 2014 at the Station for Measuring Ecosystem-Atmosphere Relations (SMEAR II) in Hyytiälä, Finland. During the first part of the campaign (summer) the applicability of the developed method was tested for the determination of monoterpenes, pinonaldehyde, aldehydes, amines and anthropogenic compounds. The temporal variation of aerosol precursors was determined, and evaluated against temperature and aerosol number concentration data. The most abundant monoterpenes, pinonaldehyde and aldehydes were successfully measured, their relative amounts being lower during days when particle number concentration was higher. Ethylbenzene, p- and m-xylene were also found when wind direction was from cities with substantial anthropogenic activity. An accumulation of VOCs in the snow cover was observed in the autumn campaign. Results demonstrated the successful applicability of needle trap microextraction and portable gas chromatography–mass spectrometry for the rapid in situ determination of organic gaseous compounds in the atmosphere.

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Volatile organic compounds play a key role in atmospheric chemistry and physics by influencing the climate. Trace concentrations need to be determined, even at remote locations, like forests. In this research, an easy and fast method using a portable device was developed for determination of relevant atmospheric compounds. Links between these compounds and meteorological factors were observed. Also, accumulation of volatiles in the snow was measured.
Volatile organic compounds play a key role in atmospheric chemistry and physics by influencing...
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