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As an important component of organic carbon (OC), brown carbon (BrC) plays a significant role in radiative forcing in the atmosphere. Water-insoluble OC (WIOC) generally has higher light absorption ability than water-soluble OC (WSOC). The mass absorption cross-section (MAC) of WIOC is normally investigated by dissolving OC in methanol. However, all the current methods have shortcomings due to neglecting the methanol insoluble particulate carbon that is detached from the filter and suspended in methanol extracts, which results in MAC uncertainties of the methanol-soluble BrC and its climate warming estimation. In this study, by investigating typical biomass combustion sourced aerosols from the Tibetan Plateau and ambient aerosols from rural and urban areas in China, we evaluated the light absorption of extractable OC fraction for the existing methods. Moreover, a new method was developed to overcome the methanol insoluble particulate carbon detachment problem to achieve more reliable MAC values. We found that OC can be dissolved in methanol in a short time (e.g., 1 h) and ultrasonic treatment and long-term soaking do not significantly increase the extractable OC fraction. Additionally, we proved that methanol insoluble particulate carbon detachment in methanol does exist in previous methods, causing overestimation of the BrC mass extracted by methanol and thus the underestimation of MAC values. We therefore recommend the newly developed extraction method in this study to be utilized in future related studies to quantitatively obtain the light absorption property of methanol-soluble BrC.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987)
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An extraction method that separates analytes using a solid phase and a liquid phase. It is used for preparative sample cleanup before analysis by CHROMATOGRAPHY and other analytical methods.
A CHROMATOGRAPHY method using supercritical fluid, usually carbon dioxide under very high pressure (around 73 atmospheres or 1070 psi at room temperature) as the mobile phase. Other solvents are sometimes added as modifiers. This is used both for analytical (SFC) and extraction (SFE) purposes.
The removal of a soluble component from a liquid mixture by contact with a second liquid, immiscible with the carrier liquid, in which the component is preferentially soluble. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 6th ed)
A colorless, flammable liquid used in the manufacture of FORMALDEHYDE and ACETIC ACID, in chemical synthesis, antifreeze, and as a solvent. Ingestion of methanol is toxic and may cause blindness.
Use of various chemical separation and extraction methods, such as SOLID PHASE EXTRACTION; CHROMATOGRAPHY; and SUPERCRITICAL FLUID EXTRACTION; to prepare samples for analytical measurement of components.