Real-time measurements of gas-phase organic acids using SF 6 chemical ionization mass spectrometry

Nah, Theodora; Ji, Yi; Tanner, David J.; Guo, Hongyu; Sullivan, Amy P.; Ng, Nga Lee; Weber, Rodney J.; Huey, L. Gregory

The sources and atmospheric chemistry of gas-phase organic acids are currently poorly understood, due in part to the limited range of measurement techniques available. In this work, we evaluated the use of inline-formula M2inlinescrollmathml chem normal SF normal 6 - 23pt16ptsvg-formulamathimg6b2104b31187e039015f877604cc3481 amt-11-5087-2018-ie00003.svg23pt16ptamt-11-5087-2018-ie00003.png as a sensitive and selective chemical ionization reagent ion for real-time measurements of gas-phase organic acids. Field measurements are made using chemical ionization mass spectrometry (CIMS) at a rural site in Yorkville, Georgia, from September to October 2016 to investigate the capability of this measurement technique. Our measurements demonstrate that inline-formula M3inlinescrollmathml chem normal SF normal 6 - 23pt16ptsvg-formulamathimg4a8ed7cf1d16ff11753ac382dae536fa amt-11-5087-2018-ie00004.svg23pt16ptamt-11-5087-2018-ie00004.png can be used to measure a range of organic acids in the atmosphere. One-hour averaged ambient concentrations of organic acids ranged from a few parts per trillion by volume (ppt) to several parts per billion by volume (ppb). All the organic acids displayed similar strong diurnal behaviors, reaching maximum concentrations between 17:00 and 19:00 EDT. The organic acid concentrations are dependent on ambient temperature, with higher organic acid concentrations being measured during warmer periods.



Nah, Theodora / Ji, Yi / Tanner, David J. / et al: Real-time measurements of gas-phase organic acids using SF6− chemical ionization mass spectrometry. 2018. Copernicus Publications.


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