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GC/ITMS Measurement of Carbonyls and Multifunctional Carbonyls in PM2.5 Particles Emitted from Motor Vehicles

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A method was developed and tested to identify and quantitate carbonyls and multifunctional carbonyls in fine particulate matter (PM2.5; <2.5 μm aerodynamic diameter). The method relies on ultrasonic extraction of particulate matter on filters at −8°C; derivatization with O-(2,3,4,5,6-pentafluorobenzyl) hydroxylamine (PFBHA), and PFBHA along with bis (trimethylsilyl) trifluoroacetamide (BSTFA); and detection of the derivatives by gas chromatography/ion trap mass spectrometry. Ultrasonic extraction of model compounds from enriched particles was affected by solvent polarity (water > methylene chloride > toluene–isopropanol (2 + 1, v/v). Water provided the highest recovery for dihydroxy acetone, pyruvic acid, and hydroxy acetone, compared to methylene chloride, and toluene–isopropanol. Lowering the ultrasonication bath temperature from 0° to −8°C improved the recoveries of the less water soluble and more volatile species—methacrolein, methyl vinyl ketone, 2,3-butanedione, and tolualdehyde. The power of the method was demonstrated by identification and quantitation of carbonyls and multifunctional carbonyls in sample extracts of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) collected in the Caldecott tunnel, CA. The identities of crotonaldehyde, 2,3-butanedione, glyoxal, 9H-fluoren-9-one, glycolaldehyde, glyoxylic acid, levulinic acid, and 3-hydroxybenzaldehyde were confirmed by comparing the relative retention time and mass spectra of the analyte in the sample extract with an authentic standard. Quantitation of crotonaldehyde, glyoxal, 2,3-butanedione, glyoxylic acid, and levulinic acid was accomplished. This is the first report of glyoxylic acid, levulinic acid, and 3-hydroxybenzaldheyde in PM2.5 particles sampled in a roadway tunnel. It is also the first report of a C10 carbonyl with the molecular formula of C10H16O2, a hydroxy carbonyl with the molecular formula of C17H21NO2, and a hydroxy or dihydroxy carbonyl with the molecular formula of C16H14O2 or C9H10O3. The high-molecular weight hydroxy carbonyls, which were found only in the heavy-duty (diesel) bore, may be tracers of diesel emissions in air.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of California, Davis, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Davis, CA 95616.

Publication date: 01 May 2001

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  • The Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL publishes refereed papers and reviews in the fields of chemical, biological and toxicological analytical chemistry for the purpose of showcasing the most precise, accurate and sensitive methods for analysis of foods, food additives, supplements and contaminants, cosmetics, drugs, toxins, hazardous substances, pesticides, feeds, fertilizers and the environment available at that point in time. The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better methods of preparing samples for analysis; collaborative studies substantiating the performance of a given method; statistical techniques for evaluating data. The Journal will also publish other articles of general interest to its audience, e.g., technical communications; cautionary notes; comments on techniques, apparatus, and reagents.
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