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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 11 Jul 2019

Research article | 11 Jul 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

Optimization of a gas chromatographic unit for measuring BVOCs in ambient air

Kenneth Mermet1,2,3, Stéphane Sauvage1, Sébastien Dusanter1, Thérèse Salameh1, Thierry Léonardis1, Pierre-M. Flaud2,3, Émilie Perraudin2,3, Éric Villenave2,3, and Nadine Locoge1 Kenneth Mermet et al.
  • 1IMT Lille Douai, Univ. Lille, SAGE -Département Sciences de l'Atmosphère et Génie de l'Environnement, 59000 Lille, France
  • 2Univ. Bordeaux, EPOC, UMR 5805, F-33405 Talence Cedex, France
  • 3CNRS, EPOC, UMR 5805, F-33405 Talence Cedex, France

Abstract. A new online gas chromatographic method dedicated to Biogenic Volatile Organic Compounds (BVOC) analysis was developed for the measurement of a 20 BVOC gaseous mixture (isoprene, β-pinene, α-pinene, limonene, trans-β-ocimene, myrcene, sabinene, Δ3-carene, camphene, 1,8 cineole, terpinolene, linalool, α-phellandrene, nopinone, citral, α-terpinene, β-caryophhyllene, p-cymene, γ-terpinene and 2-carene) at a time resolution of 90 minutes. The optimized method includes an online Peltier-cooled thermodesorption system sample trap made of Carbopack B coupled to a gas chromatographic system equipped with a 60 m, 0.25 mm i.d. BPX5 column. Eluent was analysed using a flame ionization detection (FID). Potassium iodide was identified as the best ozone scrubber for the 20 BVOC mixture. In order to obtain an accurate quantification of BVOC concentrations, the development of a reliable standard mixture was also required. Quantification of BVOCs was reported with a detection limit ranging from 4 ppt for α-pinene to 19 ppt for sabinene. The main source of uncertainty was the calibration step, stressing the need of certified gaseous standards for a wider panel of BVOCs. This new method was applied for the first time to measure BVOCs in a pine forest during the LANDEX-episode-1 field campaign (summer 2017). All targeted BVOCs were detected at least once along the campaign. The two major monoterpenes observed were β-pinene and α-pinene, representing on average 60 % of the measured terpenoïds, while isoprene represented only 17 %. Uncertainties determined were always below 13 % for the six major terpenes. Uncertainties may be larger for the other compounds especially for those presenting a mixing ratio close to the detection limit.

Kenneth Mermet et al.
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Kenneth Mermet et al.
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Short summary
An automated for the online ambient measurement of 20 biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) was successfully developed and optimized. The analytical performances were satisfying for ambient measurements. The first measurements were carried out during the LANDEX field campaign in summer 2017. The 3-weeks field measurements demonstrated the excellent performance of the methodology to provide speciated BVOCs concentration measurements to further investigate atmospheric BVOCs reactivity.
An automated for the online ambient measurement of 20 biogenic volatile organic compounds...