Study of tropical organic aerosol by thermally assisted alkylation-gas chromatography mass spectrometry

Marianne Blazsó, Szilvia Janitsek, András Gelencsér, Paulo Artaxo, Bim Graham, Meinrat O. Andreae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)


Fine (<2.6 μm) and size-segregated aerosol samples collected at a tropical pasture site (Rondônia, Brazil) under various conditions have been analysed by thermally assisted hydrolysis and alkylation, coupled to GC/MS. Fatty acids, alkadioic acids, hydroxybenzoic acids, levoglucosan, and other compounds of polysaccharide origin have been identified as their methyl ester and ether derivatives among the products of thermally assisted methylation. The identity of the characteristic hydrolysed fragments and soluble components has been confirmed by butylation and silylation as well. To improve available chemical information, this analytical method has also been combined with a thermal pre-treatment. Seasonal variation of size-resolved distribution of the characteristic fragments of thermally assisted hydrolysis and methylation (THM) in the atmospheric aerosol is shown. Although the results presented in this paper are preliminary and based on a limited number of aerosol samples, they clearly demonstrate the sensitivity and potential of thermally assisted alkylation-GC/MS to provide unique chemical information on the bulk of organic matter in tropospheric aerosol to facilitate their source apportionment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-369
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2003


  • Carbonaceous aerosol
  • Size-distribution
  • Thermally assisted hydrolysis and methylation
  • Tropospheric organic aerosol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Fuel Technology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Study of tropical organic aerosol by thermally assisted alkylation-gas chromatography mass spectrometry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this