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Environmental science & technology

Seasonal variation of 2-methyltetrols in ambient air samples.


PMID 17153997

Abstract

PM2.5 samples were collected from June to December 2005 in Potsdam, New York and analyzed for polar organic compounds by GC/MS. The major compounds that were identified in the samples included 2-methyltetrols (2-methylthreitol and 2-methylerythritol), levoglucosan, cispinonic acid, and mannitol. 2-Methyltetrols were quantified during the analysis. A seasonal variation for these two diastereoisomers was observed, with the highest concentrations occurring during the summer and the lowest concentrations occurring during the winter. OC/EC analyses of these samples were also performed. The variation of the carbon contribution of 2-methyltetrols to OC was found to follow the same pattern as the concentration variation of 2-methyltetrols. During summer, the period of high photochemical activity, the maximum carbon contribution of 2-methyltetrols to OC was 2.8%. The observation of high 2-methyltetrol concentrations during the summer indicates isoprene is a significant summertime source of secondary organic aerosol in this rural area in the northeastern United States.

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