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Biomass burning has a strong influence on the atmospheric aerosol composition through particulate organic, inorganic, and soot emissions. When biomass burns, cellulose and hemicelluloses degrade, producing monosaccharide anhydrides (MAs) such as levoglucosan, mannosan, and galactosan. Therefore, these compounds have been commonly used as tracers for biomass burning. In this study, a fast water-based method was developed for the routine analysis of MAs, based on high-performance anion-exchange chromatography with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry detection. This method combines simple sample preparation, fast separation, and the advantages of the selective detection with MS. Analysis run was optimized to the maximum separation of levoglucosan, mannosan, and galactosan with 15-min analysis. The validation results indicated that the method showed good applicability for determination of MA isomer concentrations in ambient samples. The limit of detection was 100 pg for levoglucosan and 50 pg for mannosan and galactosan. Wide determination ranges enabled the analysis of samples of different concentration levels. The method showed good precision, both for standard solutions (3.9-5.9% RSD) and for fine particle samples (4.3-8.5% RSD). Co-elution of internal standard (carbon-13-labeled levoglucosan) and sugar alcohols with levoglucosan decreased the sensitivity of levoglucosan determination. The method was used to determine the MA concentrations in ambient fine particle samples from urban background (Helsinki) and rural background (Hyytiälä) in Finland. The average levoglucosan, mannosan, and galactosan concentrations were 77, 8.8, and 4.2 ng m(-3) in Helsinki (winter 2008-2009) and 17, 2.3, and 1.4 ng m(-3) in Hyytiälä (spring 2007), respectively. The interrelation of the three MA isomers was fairly constant in the ambient fine particle samples.
Finnish Meteorological Institute, Air Quality Research, Erik Palménin aukio 1, P.O. Box 503, 00101, Helsinki, Finland, firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry
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