Atomic emission detector with gas chromatographic separation and cryogenic pre-concentration (CryoTrap–GC–AED) for atmospheric trace gas measurements

Karu, Einar; Li, Mengze; Ernle, Lisa; Brenninkmeijer, Carl A. M.; Lelieveld, Jos; Williams, Jonathan

A gas detection system has been developed, characterized, and deployed for pressurized gas-phase sample analyses and near-real-time online measurements. It consists of a cryogenic pre-concentrator (CryoTrap), a gas chromatograph (GC), and a new high-resolution atomic emission detector (AED III HR). Here the CryoTrap–GC–AED instrumental setup is presented, and the performance for iodine (1635 inline-formula± 135 counts I atominline-formula−1 pptvinline-formula−1), sulfur (409 inline-formula± 57 counts S atominline-formula−1 pptvinline-formula−1), carbon (636 inline-formula± 69 counts C atominline-formula−1 pptvinline-formula−1), bromine (9.1 inline-formula± 1.8 counts Br atominline-formula−1 pptvinline-formula−1), and nitrogen (28 inline-formula± 2 counts N atominline-formula−1 pptvinline-formula−1) emission lines is reported and discussed. The limits of detection (LODs) are in the low parts per trillion by volume range (0.5–9.7 pptv), and the signal is linear to at least 4 orders of magnitude, which makes it a suitable method for diverse volatile organic compound (VOC) measurements in the atmosphere, even in remote unpolluted regions. The new system was utilized in a field study in a boreal forest at Hyytiälä, Finland, in late summer 2016, which made monoterpene measurements possible among other VOCs. Furthermore, pressurized global whole-air samples, collected on board the Lufthansa Airbus A340-600 IAGOS–CARIBIC aircraft in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere region, were measured with the new setup, providing data for many VOCs, including the long-lived organosulfur compound carbonyl sulfide.

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Karu, Einar / Li, Mengze / Ernle, Lisa / et al: Atomic emission detector with gas chromatographic separation and cryogenic pre-concentration (CryoTrap–GC–AED) for atmospheric trace gas measurements. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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