Characterization of water-soluble organic matter in urban aerosol by 1H-NMR spectroscopy

Academic Article


  • The functional and 13C isotopic compositions of water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC) in atmospheric aerosol were determined by nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) and isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) in an urban location in the Southern Mississippi Valley. The origin of WSOC was resolved using the functional distribution of organic hydrogen, δ13C ratio, and positive matrix factorization (PMF). Three factors were retained based on NMR spectral bins loadings. Two factors (factors 1 and 3) demonstrated strong associations with the aliphatic region in the NMR spectra and levoglucosan resonances. Differences between the two factors included the abundance of the aromatic functional group for factor 1, indicating fresh emissions and, for factor 3, the presence of resonances attributed to secondary ammonium nitrate and low δ13C ratio values that are indicative of secondary organic aerosol. Factors 1 and 3 added 0.89 and 1.08 μgC m-3, respectively, with the highest contribution in the summer and fall. Factor 2 retained resonances consistent with saccharides and was attributed to pollen particles. Its contribution to WSOC varied from 0.22 μgC m-3 in winter to 1.04 μgC m-3 in spring.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Chalbot MCG; Chitranshi P; Gamboa da Costa G; Pollock E; Kavouras IG
  • Start Page

  • 235
  • End Page

  • 245
  • Volume

  • 128