The hydrocarbon composition of the particle and gas phases in the urban atmosphere has been studied by filtration and parallel adsorption on active charcoal and polyurethane foam (PUF). Gas chromatography (GC) and GC coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS) have been used for the analysis of the organic matter extracts obtained with each system. In the case of the particle and PUF samples these extracts were fractionated into aliphatic and aromatic compounds. This approach has allowed to identify up to 247 hydrocarbon molecules showing that C0–C5 alkylbenzenes are the major compounds in the charcoal extracts whereas C14–C23 n-alkanes, C0–C4 alkylnaphthalenes, C0–C4 alkylbiphenyls and C3–C5 alkylbenzenes are those predominantly found in the PUF materials. The particles essentially contain C17–C38 n-alkanes and parent polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). These qualitative differences are paralleled by a progressive concentration decrease from the more to the less volatile hydrocarbons. Thus, the total charcoal extracts average ∼80 μg/m3, the PUF compounds represent ∼4 μ/m3 and the particle hydrocarbons ∼0.7 μg/m3. These latter airborne materials are essentially composed of petrogenic residues ∼0.6 μg/m3 (aliphatic fraction) whereas the pyrolytic PAH only involve ∼0.08 μg/m3.
|Translated title of the contribution||The composition of volatile and particulate hydrocarbons in urban air|
|Original language||Multiple languages|
|Journal||Fresenius Journal of Analytical Chemistry|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 1991|