Ammonia and amines in ambient air: straightforward collection and subsequent analysis by ion chromatography
04/09/2014

In a paper recently published in Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, Dawson et. al. present a novel technique for measuring gas-phase ammonia and amines in ambient air. Their technique uses a weak cation exchange resin as a substrate for collection of the target analytes followed by axtraction and analysis by ion chromatography. This technique is of particular interest, as it avoids the use of sampling lines making it relatively simple and inexpensive.
Ammonia and amines are routinely detected in atmospheric aerosols and have been identified as important contributors to new particle formation and growth. Thus, gas-phase ammonia and amines significantly enhance particle formation from common atmospheric acids, such as sulfuric, nitric, and methanesulfonic acids as well as the growth of atmospheric nanoparticles.

According to the authors, their research is the first to demonstrate that ion exchange resins can in fact be used to effectively collect molecular species from a gas-phase sample. As such, it offers an accurate, reproducible, and inexpensive means of measurement at atmospherically relevant concentrations that is useful for both laboratory and field studies. Qualification and quantitation of the target analytes were performed on a Metrohm 850 Professional IC system (learn more about Metrohm IC here).

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