New Chemical Aerosol Characterization Methods- Examples Using Agricultural and Urban Airborne Particulate Matter



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This study explored different chemical characterization methods of agricultural and urban airborne particulate matter. Three different field campaigns are discussed. For the agricultural aerosols, measurement of the chemical composition of size-resolved agricultural aerosols collected from a ground site at the nominally downwind and upwind edge of a feedlot in West Texas were reported. High volume cascade impactor samplers were used for the collection of the particles, and two major analytical methods were applied to characterize different components of the aerosols, ion chromatography (IC ) was used to measure ionic composition with the main targets being ammonium (NH4 ), nitrate (NO3 -), and sulfate (SO4 2-), direct thermal desorption gas chromatography-mass spectrometry/flame ionization detection (GC-MS/FID) methodology was used to identify and quantify organic compounds in the aerosol particles. For the urban aerosols, I report the measurement of mass, and the chemical composition of size-resolved aerosols collected from two different locations in Houston, analyzed by the thermal desorption GC-MS/FID method. The investigation of single particle composition using RM is reported as well: RM and chemical mapping techniques have been applied for the qualitative analysis of components in the samples of air particulate matter collected in downtown Houston.