Organic molecular markers and signature from wood combustion particles in winter ambient aerosols: aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) and high time-resolved GC-MS measurements in Augsburg, Germany M. Elsasser1,2, M. Crippa3, J. Orasche1,4, P. F. DeCarlo3,*, M. Oster1,2, M. Pitz5,6, J. Cyrys5,6, T. L. Gustafson7, J. B. C. Pettersson7, J. Schnelle-Kreis1, A. S. H. Prévôt3, and R. Zimmermann1,2 1Joint Mass Spectrometry Centre, Cooperation Group Comprehensive Molecular Analytics, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Ingolstädter Landstr. 1, 85764 Neuherberg, Germany 2Joint Mass Spectrometry Centre, Universität Rostock, Institut für Chemie, Lehrstuhl für Analytische Chemie, Dr.-Lorenz-Weg 1, 18059 Rostock, Germany 3Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, Paul Scherrer Institute, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland 4Department of Sedimentology & Environmental Geology, Georg-August-University Göttingen, 37077 Göttingen, Germany 5Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Institute of Epidemiology II, 85764 Neuherberg, Germany 6University of Augsburg, Environment Science Center, 86159 Augsburg, Germany 7Department of Chemistry, University of Gothenburg, 412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden *now at: Department of Civil Architectural and Environmental Engineering, Drexel University, 19104 Philadelphia, PA, USA
Abstract. The impact of wood combustion on ambient aerosols was investigated in
Augsburg, Germany during a winter measurement campaign of a six-week period.
Special attention was paid to the high time resolution observations of wood
combustion with different mass spectrometric methods. Here we present and
compare the results from an Aerodyne aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) and gas
chromatographic – mass spectrometric (GC-MS) analysed PM1 filters on an
hourly basis. This includes source apportionment of the AMS derived organic
matter (OM) using positive matrix factorisation (PMF) and analysis of
levoglucosan as wood combustion marker, respectively.
During the measurement period nitrate and OM mass are the main contributors
to the defined submicron particle mass of AMS and Aethalometer with 28%
and 35%, respectively. Wood combustion organic aerosol (WCOA) contributes
to OM with 23% on average and 27% in the evening and night time.
Conclusively, wood combustion has a strong influence on the organic matter
and overall aerosol composition. Levoglucosan accounts for 14% of WCOA
mass with a higher percentage in comparison to other studies. The ratio
between the mass of levoglucosan and organic carbon amounts to 0.06.
This study is unique in that it provides a one-hour time resolution
comparison between the wood combustion results of the AMS and the GC-MS
analysed filter method at a PM1 particle size range. The comparison of
the concentration variation with time of the PMF WCOA factor, levoglucosan
estimated by the AMS data and the levoglucosan measured by GC-MS is highly
correlated (R2 = 0.84), and a detailed discussion on the contributors
to the wood combustion marker ion at mass-to-charge ratio 60 is given. At
the end, both estimations, the WCOA factor and the levoglucosan
concentration estimated by AMS data, allow to observe the variation with
time of wood combustion emissions (gradient correlation with GC-MS
levoglucosan of R2 = 0.84). In the case of WCOA, it provides the
estimated magnitude of wood combustion emission. Quantitative estimation of
the levoglucosan concentration from the AMS data is problematic due to its
overestimation in comparison to the levoglucosan measured by the GC-MS.
Citation: Elsasser, M., Crippa, M., Orasche, J., DeCarlo, P. F., Oster, M., Pitz, M., Cyrys, J., Gustafson, T. L., Pettersson, J. B. C., Schnelle-Kreis, J., Prévôt, A. S. H., and Zimmermann, R.: Organic molecular markers and signature from wood combustion particles in winter ambient aerosols: aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) and high time-resolved GC-MS measurements in Augsburg, Germany, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 6113-6128, doi:10.5194/acp-12-6113-2012, 2012.