Broad spectrum analysis of polar and apolar organic compounds in submicron atmospheric particles

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A method for the quantitative analysis of organic compounds on submicron particulate matter (PM<inf>1</inf>) collected on quartz filters was developed. The compounds analyzed encompassed C<inf>22</inf>-C<inf>35</inf> alkanes, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), quinones, levoglucosan, cis-pinonic acid and short chain dicarboxylic acids such as malonic, succinic, glutaric, adipic, suberic, azelaic, malic and phthalic acids. The method included extraction with a pressure liquid extraction system, sample filtration though glass fibre filter, fractionation by high performance liquid chromatography and subsequent analysis by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. The study of the extraction efficiency of different solvent mixtures showed that DCM:MeOH 1:1 was the one providing the highest recoveries for all compounds. Extraction temperatures of 100°C provided better results than 60°C or 80°C. This method provided comparable extraction efficiency and qualitative and quantitative data to those involving Soxhlet extraction. Method recoveries for alkanes, most PAH, quinones and polar compounds calculated from spiked real samples were 52-72%, 78-101%, 50-62% and 76-104%, respectively, reproducibilities were 2-28%, 7-29%, 10-27% and 5-28%, respectively, limits of quantification were 0.01-0.1ng/m<sup>3</sup>, 0.01-0.27ng/m<sup>3</sup>, 0.04ng/m<sup>3</sup> and 0.32-2.8ng/m<sup>3</sup>, respectively, which affords the quantification of a broad number of primary and secondary organic constituents of submicron aerosols.




Fontal, M., van Drooge, B. L., López, J. F., Fernández, P., & Grimalt, J. O. (2015). Broad spectrum analysis of polar and apolar organic compounds in submicron atmospheric particles. Journal of Chromatography A, 1404, 28–38.

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