Methods, fluxes and sources of gas phase alkyl nitrates in the coastal air
Potgieter-Vermaak, Sanja S.
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Pharmacy
Environmental monitoring and assessment. - Dordrecht
, p. 6445-6457
University of Antwerp
The daily and seasonal atmospheric concentrations, deposition fluxes and emission sources of a few C3C9 gaseous alkyl nitrates (ANs) at the Belgian coast (De Haan) on the Southern North Sea were determined. An adapted sampler design for low- and high-volume air-sampling, optimized sample extraction and clean-up, as well as identification and quantification of ANs in air samples by means of gas chromatography mass spectrometry, are reported. The total concentrations of ANs ranged from 0.03 to 85 pptv and consisted primarily of the nitro-butane and nitro-pentane isomers. Air mass backward trajectories were calculated by the Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) model to determine the influence of main air masses on AN levels in the air. The shorter chain ANs have been the most abundant in the Atlantic/Channel/UK air masses, while longer chain ANs prevailed in continental air. The overall mean N fluxes of the ANs were slightly higher for summer than those for winter-spring, although their contributions to the total nitrogen flux were low. High correlations between AN and HNO2 levels were observed during winter/spring. During summer, the shorter chain ANs correlated well with precipitation. Source apportionment by means of principal component analysis indicated that most of the gas phase ANs could be attributed to traffic/combustion, secondary photochemical formation and biomass burning, although marine sources may also have been present and a contributing factor.