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Hydroxymethanesulfonic Acid in Size-segregated Aerosol Particles at Nine Sites in Germany : Volume 13, Issue 12 (10/12/2013)

By Scheinhardt, S.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003996592
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 23
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Hydroxymethanesulfonic Acid in Size-segregated Aerosol Particles at Nine Sites in Germany : Volume 13, Issue 12 (10/12/2013)  
Author: Scheinhardt, S.
Volume: Vol. 13, Issue 12
Language: English
Subject: Science, Atmospheric, Chemistry
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection (Contemporary), Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Spindler, G., Pinxteren, D. V., Scheinhardt, S., Herrmann, H., & Müller, K. (2013). Hydroxymethanesulfonic Acid in Size-segregated Aerosol Particles at Nine Sites in Germany : Volume 13, Issue 12 (10/12/2013). Retrieved from

Description: Leibniz-Institut für Troposphärenforschung (TROPOS), Permoserstraße 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany. In the course of two field campaigns, size-segregated particle samples were collected at nine sites in Germany, including traffic, urban, rural, marine, and mountain sites. During the chemical characterisation of the samples some of them were found to contain an unknown substance that was later on identified as hydroxymethanesulfonic acid (HMSA). HMSA is known to be formed during the reaction of S(IV) (HSO3 or SO32−) with formaldehyde in the aqueous phase. Due to its stability, HMSA may can act as a reservoir species for S(IV) in the atmosphere and is therefore of interest for the understanding of atmospheric sulphur chemistry. However, no HMSA data are available for atmospheric particles from Central Europe and even on a worldwide scale, data are scarce. Thus, the present study now provides a representative dataset with detailed information on HMSA concentrations in size-segregated Central European aerosol particles. HMSA mass concentrations in this dataset were highly variable: HMSA was found in 224 out of 738 samples (30%), sometimes in high mass concentrations exceeding those of oxalic acid. In average over all 154 impactor runs, 31.5 ng m−3 HMSA were found in PM10, contributing 0.21% to the total mass. The results show that the particle diameter, the sampling location, the sampling season and the air mass origin impact the HMSA mass concentration. Highest concentrations were found in the particle fraction 0.42–1.2 μm, at urban sites, in winter and with eastern (continental) air masses, respectively. The results suggest that HMSA is formed during aging of pollution plumes. A positive correlation of HMSA with sulphate, oxalate and PM is found (R2 > 0.4). The results furthermore suggest that the fraction of HMSA in PM slightly decreases with increasing pH.

Hydroxymethanesulfonic acid in size-segregated aerosol particles at nine sites in Germany

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