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Published October 15, 2002 | public
Journal Article

Trimethylsilyl Derivatives of Organic Compounds in Source Samples and in Atmospheric Fine Particulate Matter


Source sample extracts of vegetative detritus, motor vehicle exhaust, tire dust, paved road dust, and cigarette smoke have been silylated and analyzed by GC−MS to identify polar organic compounds that may serve as tracers for those specific emission sources of atmospheric fine particulate matter. Candidate molecular tracers were also identified in atmospheric fine particle samples collected in the San Joaquin Valley of California. A series of normal primary alkanols, dominated by even carbon-numbered homologues from C_(26) to C_(32), the secondary alcohol 10-nonacosanol, and some phytosterols are prominent polar compounds in the vegetative detritus source sample. No new polar organic compounds are found in the motor vehicle exhaust samples. Several hydrogenated resin acids are present in the tire dust sample, which might serve as useful tracers for those sources in areas that are heavily impacted by motor vehicle traffic. Finally, the alcohol and sterol emission profiles developed for all the source samples examined in this project are scaled according to the ambient fine particle mass concentrations attributed to those sources by a chemical mass balance receptor model that was previously applied to the San Joaquin Valley to compute the predicted atmospheric concentrations of individual alcohols and sterols. The resulting underprediction of alkanol concentrations at the urban sites suggests that alkanols may be more sensitive tracers for natural background from vegetative emissions (i.e., waxes) than the high molecular weight alkanes, which have been the best previously available tracers for that source.

Additional Information

© 2002 American Chemical Society. Received for review January 13, 2002. Revised manuscript received July 24, 2002. Accepted July 25, 2002. This research was supported by the Electric Power Research Institute under Agreement RP3189-03 and in part by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under EPA Grant R826233-01-0 (California Institute of Technology).

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