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Organic molecular markers and signature from wood combustion particles in winter ambient aerosols: aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) and high time-resolved GC-MS measurements in Augsburg, Germany

Author(s): M. Elsasser | M. Crippa | J. Orasche | P. F. DeCarlo | M. Oster | M. Pitz | T. L. Gustafson | J. B. C. Pettersson | J. Schnelle-Kreis | A. S. H. Prévôt | R. Zimmermann

Journal: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions
ISSN 1680-7367

Volume: 12;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 4831;
Date: 2012;
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The impact of wood combustion on ambient aerosols was investigated in Augsburg, Germany during a winter measurement campaign of a six-week period. Special attention was paid to the high time resolution observations of wood combustion with different mass spectrometric methods. Here we present and compare the results from an Aerodyne aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) and gas chromatographic – mass spectrometric (GC-MS) analysed PM1 filters on an hourly basis. This includes source apportionment of the AMS derived organic mass by using positive matrix factorisation (PMF) and analysis of levoglucosan as wood combustion marker, respectively. In the measurement period nitrate and organics are the main contributors to the defined submicron particle mass with 28% and 35%, respectively. To the latter wood combustion organic aerosol (WCOA) contributes 23% on average and 27% in the evening and night-time. Conclusively, wood combustion has a strong influence on the organics and overall aerosol composition. Levoglucosan accounts for 14% of WCOA mass with a higher percentage in comparison to other studies. The ratio between the mass of levoglucosan and organic carbon amounts to 0.06. This study is unique in the one-hour time resolution comparison between the wood combustion results of the AMS and the GC-MS analysed filter method at a PM1 particle size range. This comparison of the concentration courses of the PMF WCOA factor, levoglucosan estimated by the AMS data and the levoglucosan measured by GC-MS is highly correlated, and a detailed discussion on the contributors to the wood combustion marker ion at mass-to-charge ratio 60 will be given. This offers a suitable application possibility for the description of the wood combustion course by the WCOA factor and the levoglucosan concentration estimated by AMS data. However, quantitative description of the levoglucosan concentration estimated by the AMS data is difficult due to the offset of latter compared to measured levoglucosan by the GC-MS.
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