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Sample Drying to Improve Hcho Measurements by Ptr-ms Instruments: Laboratory and Field Measurements : Volume 9, Issue 5 (23/09/2009)

By Jobson, B. T.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003975771
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 33
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Sample Drying to Improve Hcho Measurements by Ptr-ms Instruments: Laboratory and Field Measurements : Volume 9, Issue 5 (23/09/2009)  
Author: Jobson, B. T.
Volume: Vol. 9, Issue 5
Language: English
Subject: Science, Atmospheric, Chemistry
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Mccoskey, J. K., & Jobson, B. T. (2009). Sample Drying to Improve Hcho Measurements by Ptr-ms Instruments: Laboratory and Field Measurements : Volume 9, Issue 5 (23/09/2009). Retrieved from

Description: Laboratory for Atmospheric Research Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Washington State University Pullman, WA, USA. A significant improvement in the PTR-MS instrument sensitivity to formaldehyde was obtained by drying the air sample to a dew point of −30°C using a cold trap to condense and freeze water vapor. At warmer trap temperatures there was significant uptake of formaldehyde and other water soluble organics, suggesting the presence of a quasi-liquid layer on the ice surface. By removing water vapor to a low constant dew point, the PTR-MS can be operated at low E/N ratios, significantly increasing normalized sensitivities for all organics and removing their humidity dependence due to reactions with H+(H2O)2. At an E/N ratio of 80 Td the formaldehyde normalized sensitivity was 25 Hz/ppbv per MHz H3O+ with an estimated detection limit of 78 pptv. Field testing demonstrated good agreement between HCHO measurements made at ambient humidity and corrected for water vapor effects compared to dehumidified sampling at −30°C. Field testing also revealed that at an E/N ratio of 100 Td or lower there was a significant ion signal at m/z=49, likely CH3OOH. Sampling drying and operation at low E/N ratios enables sensitive measurements of HCHO and potentially CH3OOH, both important tropospheric photoproducts.

Sample drying to improve HCHO measurements by PTR-MS instruments: laboratory and field measurements

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