Ambient aerosol concentrations of sugars and sugar-alcohols at four different sites in Norway K. E. Yttri1, C. Dye1, and G. Kiss2 1Norwegian Institute for Air Research, P.O. Box 100, 2027 Kjeller, Norway 2Air Chemistry Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, University of Veszprém, P.O. Box 158, 8201 Veszprém, Hungary
Abstract. Sugars and sugar-alcohols are demonstrated to be important constituents of
the ambient aerosol water-soluble organic carbon fraction, and to be tracers
for primary biological aerosol particles (PBAP). In the present study,
levels of four sugars (fructose, glucose, sucrose, trehalose) and three
sugar-alcohols (arabitol, inositol, mannitol) in ambient aerosols have been
quantified using a novel HPLC/HRMS-TOF (High Performance Liquid
Chromatography in combination with High Resolution Mass Spectrometry – Time
of Flight) method to assess the contribution of PBAP to PM>sub>10 and
PM2.5. Samples were collected at four sites in Norway at different
times of the year in order to reflect the various contributing sources and
the spatial and seasonal variation of the selected compounds.
Sugars and sugar-alcohols were present at all sites investigated,
underlining the ubiquity of these highly polar organic compounds. The
highest concentrations were reported for sucrose, reaching a maximum
concentration of 320 ng m−3 in PM10 and 55 ng m−3 in
PM2.5. The mean concentration of sucrose was up to 10 times higher than
fructose, glucose and the dimeric sugar trehalose. The mean concentrations
of the sugar-alcohols were typically lower, or equal, to that of the
monomeric sugars and trehalose. Peak concentrations of arabitol and mannitol
did not exceed 30 ng m−3 in PM10, and for PM2.5 all
concentrations were below 6 ng m−3.
Sugars and sugar-alcohols were associated primarily with coarse aerosols
except during wintertime at the suburban site in Elverum, where a shift
towards sub micron aerosols was observed. It is proposed that this shift was
due to the intensive use of wood burning for residential heating at this
site during winter, confirmed by high concurrent concentrations of
levoglucosan. Elevated concentrations of sugars in PM2.5 were observed
during spring and early summer at the rural background site Birkenes. It is
hypothesized that this was due to ruptured pollen.
Citation: Yttri, K. E., Dye, C., and Kiss, G.: Ambient aerosol concentrations of sugars and sugar-alcohols at four different sites in Norway, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 7, 4267-4279, doi:10.5194/acp-7-4267-2007, 2007.