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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 11, issue 2 | Copyright
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 11, 881-893, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 14 Feb 2018

Research article | 14 Feb 2018

Field measurements of biogenic volatile organic compounds in the atmosphere using solid-phase microextraction Arrow

Luís Miguel Feijó Barreira1, Geoffroy Duporté1, Tuukka Rönkkö1, Jevgeni Parshintsev1, Kari Hartonen1, Lydia Hyrsky1, Enna Heikkinen1, Matti Jussila1, Markku Kulmala2, and Marja-Liisa Riekkola1 Luís Miguel Feijó Barreira et al.
  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 55, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
  • 2Department of Physics, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 64, 00014 Helsinki, Finland

Abstract. Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) emitted by terrestrial vegetation participate in a diversity of natural processes. These compounds impact both short-range processes, such as on plant protection and communication, and long-range processes, for example by participating in aerosol particle formation and growth. The biodiversity of plant species around the Earth, the vast assortment of emitted BVOCs, and their trace atmospheric concentrations contribute to the substantial remaining uncertainties about the effects of these compounds on atmospheric chemistry and physics, and call for the development of novel collection devices that can offer portability with improved selectivity and capacity. In this study, a novel solid-phase microextraction (SPME) Arrow sampling system was used for the static and dynamic collection of BVOCs from a boreal forest, and samples were subsequently analyzed on site by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS). This system offers higher sampling capacity and improved robustness when compared to traditional equilibrium-based SPME techniques, such as SPME fibers. Field measurements were performed in summer 2017 at the Station for Measuring Ecosystem–Atmosphere Relations (SMEAR II) in Hyytiälä, Finland. Complementary laboratory tests were also performed to compare the SPME-based techniques under controlled experimental conditions and to evaluate the effect of temperature and relative humidity on their extraction performance. The most abundant monoterpenes and aldehydes were successfully collected. A significant improvement on sampling capacity was observed with the new SPME Arrow system over SPME fibers, with collected amounts being approximately 2 ×  higher for monoterpenes and 7–8 ×  higher for aldehydes. BVOC species exhibited different affinities for the type of sorbent materials used (polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)–carbon wide range (WR) vs. PDMS–divinylbenzene (DVB)). Higher extraction efficiencies were obtained with dynamic collection prior to equilibrium regime, but this benefit during the field measurements was small, probably due to the natural agitation provided by the wind. An increase in temperature and relative humidity caused a decrease in the amounts of analytes extracted under controlled experimental conditions, even though the effect was more significant for PDMS–carbon WR than for PDMS–DVB. Overall, results demonstrated the benefits and challenges of using SPME Arrow for the sampling of BVOCs in the atmosphere.

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Short summary
Our results demonstrated the benefits and challenges of using new SPME Arrow over SPME fiber for the sampling of BVOCs emitted by terrestrial vegetation in the atmosphere. The new SPME Arrow system showed significant improvement on sampling capacity, with collected amounts being approximately 2 times higher for monoterpenes and 7–8 times higher for aldehydes than with SPME fiber. Higher extraction efficiencies were obtained with dynamic collection prior to equilibrium regime.
Our results demonstrated the benefits and challenges of using new SPME Arrow over SPME fiber for...