Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-355
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2021-355

  25 Nov 2021

25 Nov 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Formaldehyde and Glyoxal Measurement Deploying a Selected Ion Flow Tube Mass Spectrometer (SIFT-MS)

Antonia Zogka, Manolis N. Romanias, and Frederic Thevenet Antonia Zogka et al.
  • IMT Nord Europe, Institut Mines-Télécom, Univ. Lille, CERI EE, F-59000 Lille, France

Abstract. Formaldehyde (FM) and glyoxal (GL) are important atmospheric species of indoor and outdoor environments. They are either directly emitted in the atmosphere or they are formed through the oxidation of organic compounds by indoor and/or outdoor atmospheric oxidants. Despite their importance, the real-time monitoring of these compounds with soft ionization mass spectrometric techniques, e.g. proton transfer mass spectrometry (PTR-MS), remains problematic and is accompanied by low sensitivity. In this study, we evaluate the performance of a multi-ion selected ion flow tube mass spectrometer (SIFT-MS) to monitor in real-time atmospherically relevant concentrations of FM and GL under controlled experimental conditions. The SIFT-MS used is operated under standard conditions (SC), as proposed by the supplier, and customized conditions (CC), to achieve higher sensitivity. In the case of FM, SIFT-MS sensitivity is marginally impacted by RH, and the detection limits achieved are below 200 ppt. Contrariwise, in the case of GL, a sharp decrease of instrument sensitivity is observed with increasing RH when the H3O+ ion is used. Nevertheless, the detection of GL using NO+ precursor ion is moderately impacted by moisture with an actual positive sensitivity response. Therefore, we recommend the use of NO+ precursor for reliable detection and quantitation of GL. This work evidences that SIFT-MS can be considered as an efficient tool to monitor the concentration of FM and GL using SIFT-MS in laboratory experiments and potentially in indoor or outdoor environments. Furthermore, SIFT-MS technology still allows great possibilities for sensitivity improvement and high potential for monitoring low proton transfer affinity compounds.

Antonia Zogka et al.

Status: open (until 22 Jan 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on amt-2021-355', Anonymous Referee #1, 10 Dec 2021 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on amt-2021-355', Anonymous Referee #2, 10 Jan 2022 reply

Antonia Zogka et al.

Antonia Zogka et al.

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Short summary
This article emphasizes the application of SIFT-MS to detect two important atmospheric pollutants, formaldehyde (FM) and glyoxal (GL). FM and GL are secondary products formed by VOCs oxidation in indoor and outdoor environments, and play a key role in air quality and climate. We evidenced, that SIFT-MS is able to monitor selectively and in real-time these species, overcoming the limitations of high-performance but classical analytical techniques used to monitor these species in the atmosphere.