A new method of simultaneous determination of atmospheric amines in gaseous and particulate phases by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry

Taicheng An , Yifei Chen , Qinhao Lin , Guiying Li , Maofa Ge , Yujing Mu , Jianmin Chen , Min Shao , Zifa Wang


Received July 19, 2021,Revised , Accepted September 22, 2021, Available online February 20, 2022

Volume 34,2022,Pages 401-411

As more attention is being paid to the characteristics of atmospheric amines, there is also an increasing demand for reliable detection technologies. Herein, a method was developed for simultaneous detection of atmospheric amines in both gaseous and particulate phases using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The amine samples were collected with and without phosphoric acid filters, followed by derivatization with benzenesulfonyl chloride under alkaline condition prior to GC-MS analysis. Furthermore, the method was optimized and validated for determining 14 standard amines. The detection limits ranged from 0.0408-0.421 µg/mL (for gaseous samples) and 0.163-1.69 µg/mL (for particulate samples), respectively. The obtained recoveries ranged from 68.8%-180% and the relative standard deviation was less than 30%, indicating high precision and good reliability of the method. Seven amines were simultaneously detected in gaseous and particulate samples in an industrial park using the developed method successfully. Methylamine, dimethylamine and diethylamine together accounted for 76.7% and 75.6% of particulate and gaseous samples, respectively. By comparing the measured and predicted values of gas-particle partition fractions, it was found that absorption process of aqueous phase played a more important role in the gas-partition of amines than physical adsorption. Moreover, the reaction between unprotonated amines and acid (aq.) in water phase likely promoted water absorption. Higher measured partition fraction of dibutylamine was likely due to the reaction with gaseous HCl. The developed method would help provide a deeper understanding of gas-particle partitioning as well as atmospheric evolution of amines.

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