[Cappellin2012a] "On quantitative determination of volatile organic compound concentrations using proton transfer reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometry.",
Environ Sci Technol
, vol. 46, no. 4: IASMA Research and Innovation Centre, Fondazione Edmund Mach, Food Quality and Nutrition Area, Via E. Mach, 1, 38010, S. Michele a/A, Italy., pp. 2283–2290, Feb, 2012.
Proton transfer reaction - mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) has become a reference technique in environmental science allowing for VOC monitoring with low detection limits. The recent introduction of time-of-flight mass analyzer (PTR-ToF-MS) opens new horizons in terms of mass resolution, acquisition time, and mass range. A standard procedure to perform quantitative VOC measurements with PTR-ToF-MS is to calibrate the instrument using a standard gas. However, given the number of compounds that can be simultaneously monitored by PTR-ToF-MS, such a procedure could become impractical, especially when standards are not readily available. In the present work we show that, under particular conditions, VOC concentration determinations based only on theoretical predictions yield good accuracy. We investigate a range of humidity and operating conditions and show that theoretical VOC concentration estimations are accurate when the effect of water cluster ions is negligible. We also show that PTR-ToF-MS can successfully be used to estimate reaction rate coefficients between H(3)O(+) and VOC at PTR-MS working conditions and find good agreement with the corresponding nonthermal theoretical predictions. We provide a tabulation of theoretical rate coefficients for a number of relevant volatile organic compounds at various energetic conditions and test the approach in a laboratory study investigating the oxidation of alpha-pinene.