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Low-pressure gas chromatography with chemical ionization mass spectrometry for quantification of multifunctional organic compounds in the atmosphere

Vasquez, Krystal T. and Allen, Hannah M. and Crounse, John D. and Praske, Eric and Xu, Lu and Noelscher, Anke C. and Wennberg, Paul O. (2018) Low-pressure gas chromatography with chemical ionization mass spectrometry for quantification of multifunctional organic compounds in the atmosphere. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 11 (12). pp. 6815-6832. ISSN 1867-8548.

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Oxygenated volatile organic compounds (OVOCs) are formed during the oxidation of gas-phase hydrocarbons in the atmosphere. However, analytical challenges have hampered ambient measurements for many of these species, leaving unanswered questions regarding their atmospheric fate. We present the development of an in situ gas chromatography (GC) technique that, when combined with the sensitive and specific detection of chemical ionization mass spectrometry (CIMS), is capable of the isomer-resolved detection of a wide range of OVOCs. The instrument addresses many of the issues typically associated with chromatographic separation of such compounds (e.g., analyte degradation). The performance of the instrumentation is assessed through data obtained in the laboratory and during two field studies. We show that this instrument is able to successfully measure otherwise difficult-to-quantify compounds (e.g., organic hydroperoxides and organic nitrates) and observe the diurnal variations in a number of their isomers.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Vasquez, Krystal T.0000-0003-4540-4212
Crounse, John D.0000-0001-5443-729X
Praske, Eric0000-0001-7169-4423
Xu, Lu0000-0002-0021-9876
Noelscher, Anke C.0000-0002-7864-4020
Wennberg, Paul O.0000-0002-6126-3854
Additional Information:© 2018 Author(s). This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. Received: 6 July 2018 – Discussion started: 18 July 2018. Revised: 2 November 2018 – Accepted: 8 December 2018 – Published: 21 December 2018. We would like to thank Steve Bertman, Phil Stevens, and the University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS) for organizing the PROPHET 2016 campaign. We are indebted to the many PROPHET participants who helped us move the instrument to and from the top of the tower safely. We also thank the Caltech campus and affiliated staff for accommodating the summer 2017 study. The construction of the GC-HRToF-CIMS instrument was supported by the National Science Foundation (AGS-1428482), with additional NSF support (AGS-1240604) provided for the instrument field deployments. Work performed by Krystal T. Vasquez and Hannah M. Allen was supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF GRFP). Krystal T. Vasquez also acknowledges support from an Earl C. Anthony Fellowship in chemistry during an early portion of this study. Data availability: Data from the 2017 Caltech study are available at (Vasquez et al., 2018). Additional data are available upon request to the corresponding authors. Supplement: The supplement related to this article is available online at: Author contributions: POW, JDC, KTV, HMA, EP, and ACN designed and built the GC-HRToF-CIMS. KTV, HMA, and EP operated the instrument during PROPHET. KTV and LX operated the instrument during the Caltech field study. KTV analyzed data and KTV wrote the paper with contributions from all co-authors. The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSF Graduate Research FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Earl C. Anthony Fellowhsip, CaltechUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:12
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190109-154344511
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Vasquez, K. T., Allen, H. M., Crounse, J. D., Praske, E., Xu, L., Noelscher, A. C., and Wennberg, P. O.: Low-pressure gas chromatography with chemical ionization mass spectrometry for quantification of multifunctional organic compounds in the atmosphere, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 11, 6815-6832,, 2018
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:92182
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:10 Jan 2019 12:48
Last Modified:22 Nov 2019 00:22

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