Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 10111-10128, 2010
www.atmos-chem-phys.net/10/10111/2010/
doi:10.5194/acp-10-10111-2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Analysis of the chemical composition of organic aerosol at the Mt. Sonnblick observatory using a novel high mass resolution thermal-desorption proton-transfer-reaction mass-spectrometer (hr-TD-PTR-MS)
R. Holzinger1, A. Kasper-Giebl2, M. Staudinger3, G. Schauer3, and T. Röckmann1
1Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht, Princetonplein 5, 3584 CC, Utrecht, The Netherlands
2Vienna Univ. Technol., Inst. Chem. Technol. a. Analytics, Vienna, Austria
3Cent. Inst. Meteorol. & Geodynam., Vienna, Austria

Abstract. For the first time a high mass resolution thermal desorption proton transfer reaction mass spectrometer (hr-TD-PTR-MS) was deployed in the field to analyze the composition of the organic fraction of aerosols. We report on measurements from the remote Mt. Sonnblick observatory in the Austrian alps (3108 m a.s.l.) during a 7 week period in summer 2009. A total of 638 mass peaks in the range 18–392 Da were detected and quantified in aerosols. An empirical formula was tentatively attributed to 464 of these compounds by custom-made data analysis routines which consider compounds containing C, H, O, N, and S atoms. Most of the other (unidentified) compounds must contain other elements – most likely halogenated compounds. The mean total concentration of all detected compounds was 1.1 μg m−3. Oxygenated hydrocarbons constitute the bulk of the aerosol mass (75%) followed by organic nitrogen compounds (9%), inorganic compounds (mostly NH3, 8%), unidentified/halogenated (3.8%), hydrocarbons (2.7%), and organic sulfur compounds (0.8%). The measured O/C ratios are lower than expected and suggest a significant effect from charring. Organic carbon concentrations measured with TD-PTR-MS were about 25% lower than measurements on high volume filter samples.

Citation: Holzinger, R., Kasper-Giebl, A., Staudinger, M., Schauer, G., and Röckmann, T.: Analysis of the chemical composition of organic aerosol at the Mt. Sonnblick observatory using a novel high mass resolution thermal-desorption proton-transfer-reaction mass-spectrometer (hr-TD-PTR-MS), Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 10111-10128, doi:10.5194/acp-10-10111-2010, 2010.
 
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