Ballschmiter, K.; Fischer, R. G.; Grünert, A.; Kastler, J.; Schneider, M.; Woidich, S.
Biogenic and geogenic hydrocarbons are the precursors of organic nitrates that are formed as tropospheric photo-oxidation products in the presence of NOx. Air chemistry leads to a very complex pattern of nitric acid esters: alkyl nitrates, aryl-alkyl nitrates, and bifunctional nitrates like alkyl dinitrates, hydroxy alkyl nitrates and carbonyl alkyl nitrates. We have analyzed the pattern of organic nitrates in air samples after adsorption/thermal desorption (low volume sampling-LVS) or adsorption/solvent desorption (high volume sampling-HVS) by capillary gas chromatography with electron capture (ECD) and mass spectrometric detection (MSD) using air aliquotes of 100 up to 3000 liters on column. The complexity of the organic nitrates found in air requires a group pre-separation by normal phase liquid chromatography. A detection limit per compound of 0.005 ppt(v) is achieved by our approach. We have synthesized a broad spectrum of organic nitrates as reference compounds. Air samples were taken from central Europe, the US West (Utah, Nevada, California), and the North- and South Atlantic including Antarctica. Levels and patterns of the regional and global occurrence of the various groups of C1-C12 organic nitrates including dinitrates and hydroxy nitrates and nitrates of isoprene (2-methylbutadiene) are presented. Werner G., J. Kastler, R. Looser, K. Ballschmiter: "Organic nitrates of isoprene as atmospheric trace compounds" Angewandte Chemie - International Edition (1999) 38: 1634-1637. Woidich S., O. Froescheis, O. Luxenhofer, K. Ballschmiter: "EI- and NCI-mass spectrometry of arylalkyl nitrates and their occurrence in urban air" Fresenius J. Anal. Chem. (1999) 364 : 91-99. Kastler, J; Jarman, W; Ballschmiter, K.: "Multifunctional organic nitrates as constituents in European and US urban photo-smog" Fresenius J. Anal. Chem. (2000) 368:244-249. Schneider M., K. Ballschmiter: "C3-C14 alkyl nitrates in remote South Atlantic air" Chemosphere (1999) 38: 233-244. Fischer