Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-2017

Publication Title

Atmospheric Measurement Techniques

ISSN

1867-8548

Volume

10

Issue

1

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/amt-10-291-2017

Abstract

Volatile organic compounds were quantified during two aircraft-based field campaigns using highly automated, whole air samplers with expedited post-flight analysis via a new custom-built, field-deployable gas chromatography-mass spectrometry instrument. During flight, air samples were pressurized with a stainless steel bellows compressor into electropolished stainless steel canisters. The air samples were analyzed using a novel gas chromatograph system designed specifically for field use which eliminates the need for liquid nitrogen. Instead, a Stirling cooler is used for cryogenic sample pre-concentration at temperatures as low as 165 degrees C. The analysis system was fully automated on a 20 min cycle to allow for unattended processing of an entire flight of 72 sample canisters within 30 h, thereby reducing typical sample residence times in the canisters to less than 3 days. The new analytical system is capable of quantifying a wide suite of C2 to C10 organic compounds at part-per-trillion sensitivity. This paper describes the sampling and analysis systems, along with the data analysis procedures which include a new peak-fitting software package for rapid chromatographic data reduction. Instrument sensitivities, uncertainties and system artifacts are presented for 35 trace gas species in canister samples. Comparisons of reported mixing ratios from each field campaign with measurements from other instruments are also presented.

Comments

Brian M. Lerner1,2,a, Jessica B. Gilman2, Kenneth C. Aikin1,2, Elliot L. Atlas3, Paul D. Goldan2,*, Martin Graus4, Roger Hendershot5, Gabriel A. Isaacman-VanWertz6,b, Abigail Koss1,2, William C. Kuster1,2,*, Richard A. Lueb5, Richard J. McLaughlin1,2, Jeff Peischl1,2, Donna Sueper7, Thomas B. Ryerson2, Travis W. Tokarek8, Carsten Warneke1,2, Bin Yuan1,2, and Joost A. de Gouw2

1Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, Boulder, CO, USA
2NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Chemical Sciences Division, Boulder, CO, USA
3University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Miami, FL, USA
4Universität Innsbruck, Institut für Atmosphären- und Kryosphärenwissenschaften, Innsbruck, Austria
5National Center for Atmospheric Research, Division of Atmospheric Chemistry, Boulder, CO, USA
6University of California at Berkeley, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, Berkeley, CA, USA
7Aerodyne Research, Inc., Billerica, MA, USA
8University of Calgary, Department of Chemistry, Calgary, AB, Canada
acurrent address: Aerodyne Research, Inc., Billerica, MA, USA
bcurrent address: Virginia Tech, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Blacksburg, VA, USA
*retired

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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