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Analysis of levoglucosan and its isomers in atmospheric samples by ion chromatography with electrospray lithium cationisation - triple quadrupole tandem mass spectrometry


Sanz Rodriguez, E and Perron, MM and Strzelec, M and Proemse, BC and Bowie, AR and Paull, B, Analysis of levoglucosan and its isomers in atmospheric samples by ion chromatography with electrospray lithium cationisation - triple quadrupole tandem mass spectrometry, Journal of Chromatography A, 1610 Article 460557. ISSN 0021-9673 (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.chroma.2019.460557


Biomass burning (BB) emissions are a significant source of particles to the atmosphere, especially in the Southern Hemisphere, where the occurrence of anthropogenic and natural wild fires is common. These emissions can threaten human health through increased exposure, whilst simultaneously representing a significant source of trace metals and nutrients to the ocean. One well known method to track BB emissions is through monitoring the atmospheric concentration of specific monosaccharide anhydrides (MAs), specifically levoglucosan and its isomers, mannosan and galactosan. Herein, a new method for the determination of levoglucosan and its isomers in marine and terrestrial aerosol samples is presented, which delivers both high selectivity and sensitivity, through the coupling of ion chromatography and triple quadrupole tandem mass spectrometry. Optimal chromatographic conditions, providing baseline separation for target anhydrosugars in under 8 min, were obtained using a Dionex CarboPac PA-1 column with an electrolytically generated KOH gradient. To improve the ionisation efficiency for MS detection, an organic make-up solvent was fed into the IC column effluent before the ESI source, and to further increase both sensitivity and selectivity, cationisation of levoglucosan was investigated by adding salts into the make-up solvent, namely, sodium, ammonium and lithium salts. Using positive lithium cationisation with 0.5 mM lithium chloride in methanol as the make-up solvent, delivered at a flow rate of 0.02 mLmin1, the levoglucosan response was improved by factors of 100 and 10, comparing to negative ionisation and positive sodium cationisation, respectively. Detection was carried out in SRM mode for quantitation and identification, achieving an instrumental LOD of 0.10, 0.12 and 0.5 gL−1 for levoglucosan, mannosan and galactosan, respectively. Finally, the method was applied to the analysis of 41 marine and terrestrial aerosol samples from Australia, its surrounding coastal waters and areas within the remote Southern Ocean, covering a large range of BB marker concentrations.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:levoglucosan, bushfire, aerosols, biomass burning, atmospheric samples, ion chromatography, mass spectrometry, lithium cationisation
Research Division:Chemical Sciences
Research Group:Analytical chemistry
Research Field:Separation science
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Air quality, atmosphere and weather
Objective Field:Air quality
UTAS Author:Sanz Rodriguez, E (Dr Estrella Sanz Rodriguez)
UTAS Author:Perron, MM (Miss Morgane Perron)
UTAS Author:Strzelec, M (Mr Michal Strzelec)
UTAS Author:Proemse, BC (Dr Bernadette Proemse)
UTAS Author:Bowie, AR (Professor Andrew Bowie)
UTAS Author:Paull, B (Professor Brett Paull)
ID Code:135164
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:14
Deposited By:Oceans and Cryosphere
Deposited On:2019-10-03
Last Modified:2022-08-22

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