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Nonpolar organic compounds in fine particles: quantification by thermal desorption-GC/MS and evidence for their significant oxidation in ambient aerosols in Hong Kong.
Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 401, 3125-39 (2011)
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Nonpolar organic compounds (NPOCs) in ambient particulate matter (PM) commonly include n-alkanes, branched alkanes, hopanes and steranes, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The recent development of thermal desorption-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (TD-GC/MS) has greatly reduced time and labor in their quantification by eliminating the laborious solvent extraction and sample concentration steps in the traditional approach that relies on solvent extraction. The simplicity of the TD-GCMS methods has afforded us concentration data of NPOCs in more than 90 aerosol samples in two aerosol field studies and 20 vehicular emissions-dominated source samples in Hong Kong over the past few years. In this work, we examine the interspecies relationships between select NPOCs and their concentration ratios to elemental carbon (EC) among the ambient samples and among the source samples. Our analysis indicates that hopanes were mainly from vehicular emissions and they were significantly oxidized in ambient PM. The hopane/EC ratio in ambient samples was on average less than half of the ratio in vehicular emissions-dominated source samples. This highlights the necessity in considering oxidation loss in applying organic tracer data in source apportionment studies. Select PAH/EC ratio-ratio plots reveal that PAHs had diverse sources and vehicular emissions were unlikely a dominant source for PAHs in Hong Kong. Biomass burning and other regional sources likely dominated ambient PAHs in Hong Kong.
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Publikationstyp Artikel: Journalartikel
Dokumenttyp Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
ISSN (print) / ISBN 1618-2642
Zeitschrift Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Quellenangaben Band: 401, Heft: 10, Seiten: 3125-39
Begutachtungsstatus Peer reviewed