The Application of a Novel Pressurized Liquid Extraction Method to Quantify Organic Tracers Combined with Historic and Novel Organic Contaminants for the Discover-AQ Houston Field Experiment
Wednesday, 17 December 2014
DISCOVER-AQ is a NASA mission seeking to better understand air quality in cities across the United States. In September 2013, flight, satellite and ground-based data was collected in Houston, TX and the surrounding metropolitan area. Over 300 particulate matter filter samples were collected as part of the ground-based sampling efforts, at four sites across Houston. Samples include total suspended particle matter (TSP) and fine particulate matter (less than 2.5 µm in aerodynamic diameter; PM2.5). For this project, an analytical method has been developed for the pressurized liquid extraction (PLE) of a wide variety of organic tracers and contaminants from quartz fiber filters (QFFs). Over 100 compounds were selected including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), hopanes, levoglucosan, organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs). Currently, there is no analytical method validated for the reproducible extraction of all seven compound classes in a single automated technique. Prior to extraction, QFF samples were spiked with known amounts of target analyte standards and isotopically-labeled surrogate standards. The QFF were then extracted with methylene chloride:acetone at high temperatures (100˚C) and pressures (1500 psi) using a Thermo Dionex Accelerated Solvent Extractor system (ASE 350). Extracts were concentrated, spiked with known amounts of isotopically-labeled internal standards, and analyzed by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry utilizing electron ionization and electron capture negative ionization. Target analytes were surrogate recovery-corrected to account for analyte loss during sample preparation. Ambient concentrations of over 100 organic tracers and contaminants will be presented for four sites in Houston during DISCOVER-AQ.