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Scientific Articles - PTR-MS Bibliography

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[Graus2004] Graus, M., JÖRG-PETER. SCHNITZLER, A. Hansel, C. Cojocariu, H. Rennenberg, A. Wisthaler, and J. Kreuzwieser, "Transient release of oxygenated volatile organic compounds during light-dark transitions in grey poplar leaves", Plant Physiology, vol. 135, no. 4: American Society of Plant Biologists, pp. 1967–1975, 2004.
In this study, we investigated the prompt release of acetaldehyde and other oxygenated volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from leaves of Grey poplar [Populus x canescens (Aiton) Smith] following light-dark transitions. Mass scans utilizing the extremely fast and sensitive proton transfer reaction-mass spectrometry technique revealed the following temporal pattern after light-dark transitions: hexenal was emitted first, followed by acetaldehyde and other C6-VOCs. Under anoxic conditions, acetaldehyde was the only compound released after switching off the light. This clearly indicated that hexenal and other C6-VOCs were released from the lipoxygenase reaction taking place during light-dark transitions under aerobic conditions. Experiments with enzyme inhibitors that artificially increased cytosolic pyruvate demonstrated that the acetaldehyde burst after light-dark transition could not be explained by the recently suggested pyruvate overflow mechanism. The simulation of light fleck situations in the canopy by exposing leaves to alternating light-dark and dark-light transitions or fast changes from high to low photosynthetic photon flux density showed that this process is of minor importance for acetaldehyde emission into the Earth's atmosphere.
[1488] Karl, T., A. Guenther, R. J. Yokelson, J. Greenberg, M. Potosnak, D. R. Blake, and P. Artaxo, "The tropical forest and fire emissions experiment: Emission, chemistry, and transport of biogenic volatile organic compounds in the lower atmosphere over Amazonia", Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, vol. 112, pp. n/a–n/a, 2007.
<p>Airborne and ground-based mixing ratio and flux measurements using eddy covariance (EC) and for the first time the mixed layer gradient (MLG) and mixed layer variance (MLV) techniques are used to assess the impact of isoprene and monoterpene emissions on atmospheric chemistry in the Amazon basin. Average noon isoprene (7.8 &plusmn; 2.3 mg/m2/h) and monoterpene fluxes (1.2 &plusmn; 0.5 mg/m2/h) compared well between ground and airborne measurements and are higher than fluxes estimated in this region during other seasons. The biogenic emission model, Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature (MEGAN), estimates fluxes that are within the model and measurement uncertainty and can describe the large observed variations associated with land-use change in the region north-west of Manaus. Isoprene and monoterpenes accounted for &sim;75% of the total OH reactivity in this region and are important volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for modeling atmospheric chemistry in Amazonia. The presence of fair weather clouds (cumulus humilis) had an important impact on the vertical distribution and chemistry of VOCs through the planetary boundary layer (PBL), the cloud layer, and the free troposphere (FT). Entrainment velocities between 10:00 and 11:30 local time (LT) are calculated to be on the order of 8&ndash;10 cm/s. The ratio of methyl-vinyl-ketone (MVK) and methacrolein (MAC) (unique oxidation products of isoprene chemistry) with respect to isoprene showed a pronounced increase in the cloud layer due to entrainment and an increased oxidative capacity in broken cloud decks. A decrease of the ratio in the lower free troposphere suggests cloud venting through activated clouds. OH modeled in the planetary boundary layer using a photochemical box model is much lower than OH calculated from a mixed layer budget approach. An ambient reactive sesquiterpene mixing ratio of 1% of isoprene would be sufficient to explain most of this discrepancy. Increased OH production due to increased photolysis in the cloud layer balances the low OH values modeled for the planetary boundary layer. The intensity of segregation (Is) of isoprene and OH, defined as a relative reduction of the reaction rate constant due to incomplete mixing, is found to be significant: up to 39 &plusmn; 7% in the &sim;800-m-deep cloud layer. The effective reaction rate between isoprene and OH can therefore vary significantly in certain parts of the lower atmosphere.</p>
[Simpraga2012] Simpraga, M., "Understanding the link between photosynthesis, growth and emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) in beech, oak and ash", : Ghent University, 2012.
Gas exchange between vegetation and the atmosphere is very dynamic. In addition to gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), water vapor, oxygen, nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur dioxide, ammonia and ozone (O3), also biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) are exchanged between the vegetation and the atmosphere. This PhD focussed on the exchange of CO2 and BVOCs, since net photosynthesis (Pn) and BVOC emission are two plant processes important in plant functioning. Vegetation, and forests in particular, acts as a major source of BVOCs. The importance of the study lays in understanding the link between Pn, BVOC emissions and tree growth. BVOC emissions indirectly affect climate change as BVOCs are in combination with atmospheric NOx the main precursors of photochemical O3 in the troposphere, where it acts as potential greenhouse gas, damaging vegetation and affecting human respiratory organs. BVOCs are therefore dominant reactive compounds in the troposphere and important in atmospheric chemistry and climatology. Understanding tree chemistry and ecophysiology is crucial to predict future changes in the Earth’s carbon balance as well as to update BVOC inventories and improve predictions in tropospheric air chemistry. Accordingly, the main goals of the PhD were to identify and quantify the effects of temperature, drought, seasonality and vertical canopy gradients on Pn and BVOC emissions. The general methodology consisted of developing and constructing enclosure systems for gas exchange measurements indoors and outdoors, where coupling of an infra-red gas analysis (IRGA), proton transfer reaction-mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) and thermal desorption gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (TD-GC/MS) represented a major challenge. With respect to tree species, the focus was on European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.), while additionally common ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.) and northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.) were examined in Chapter 4. The trees were examined in growth room conditions, at the campus and in the Aelmoeseneie experimental forest. The main variables measured were Pn and BVOC emissions, in particular of monoterpenoids (MTs). In addition, microclimatic variables (air temperature, photosynthetic photon flux density, soil water potential, and vapor pressure deficit) and leaf characteristics (specific leaf area, leaf temperature, leaf pigments, and leaf water potentials) were measured. In the growth room experiments, stem diameter variations and chlorophyll indices were measured to explain the behavior of MT emissions by young beech trees. In the forest, the experimental tower showed to be an important facility for adequate local characterization of adult beech Pn and BVOC chemistry. Leaf level studies showed to be crucial for unraveling the mechanisms behind the emission of BVOCs. The results indicated a large variability in BVOC emission patterns of different tree species. Temperature, drought, seasonality, vertical canopy gradients differently influenced Pn and BVOC emissions (and in particular MTs), as well as their ratio. Indoors and outdoors day-time Pn, MT emissions and MT/Pn carbon ratio varied in a systematic manner following light and temperature changes. The results indicated that not only light affected Pn, MT emissions and MT/Pn ratio, but also showed a pronounced temperature effect on MT emissions (and hence on the MT/Pn carbon ratio), with an increasing exponential trend with rising air temperatures. Furthermore, during drought stress MT emissions showed an increasing-decreasing trend depending on the drought severity. Linear variable displacement transducers (LVDTs) showed to be useful for stress quantification in BVOC studies. Another notable finding was that, under severe drought stress, two PTR-MS signals diverged from each other, indicating the possible presence of BVOC species other than MT such as green leaf volatiles (GLVs). Seasonal measurements on anatomically different trees indicated a strong temperature rather than light dependency when looking at total BVOC emission trends. Beside substantial quantities of MTs released from leaves into the atmosphere, driven by light and temperature, beside non-MTs, MTs also showed to play a role in plant-insect interactions. Detected stress compounds proved infestiation-based emissions. Consequently, plant-insect relationships require additional research, identifying individual MT species using the GC/MS speciation approach and looking at their relationships with ecophysiological parameters. In conclusion, the performed indoor and outdoor studies demonstrated that Pn and BVOC emissions are strongly interrelated. Proposed hypotheses were tested and confirmed. However, many unanswered questions remain, e.g. how the distribution of individual BVOC compounds correlated with temperature and drought stress as well as along the vertical canopy gradient.
[Karl2002] Karl, TG., C. Spirig, J. Rinne, C. Stroud, P. Prevost, J. Greenberg, R. Fall, and A. Guenther, "Virtual disjunct eddy covariance measurements of organic compound fluxes from a subalpine forest using proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry", Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 2, no. 4: Copernicus GmbH, pp. 279–291, 2002.
A `virtual' disjunct eddy covariance (vDEC) device was tested with field measurements of biogenic VOC fluxes at a subalpine forest site in the Rocky Mountains of the USA. A PTR-MS instrument was used as the VOC sensor. Daily peak emission fluxes of 2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol (MBO), methanol, acetone and acetaldehyde were around 1.5, 1, 0.8 and 0.4 mg m-2 h-1, respectively. High pass filtering due to long sampling lines was investigated in laboratory experiments, and suggested that VOC losses in PTFA lines are generally governed by diffusion laws. Memory effects and surface reactions did not seem to play a dominant role. Model estimates of MBO fluxes compared well with measured fluxes. The results also suggest that latent heat and sensible heat fluxes are reasonably well correlated with VOC fluxes and could be used to predict variations in VOC emissions. The release of MBO, methanol, acetone and acetaldehyde resulted in significant change of tropospheric oxidant levels and a 10–40% increase in ozone levels, as inferred from a photochemical box model. We conclude that vDEC with a PTR-MS instrument is a versatile tool for simultaneous field analysis of multiple VOC fluxes.
[Ruuskanen2010] Ruuskanen, TM., M. Müller, R. Schnitzhofer, T. Karl, M. Graus, I. Bamberger, L. Hoertnagl, F. Brilli, G. Wohlfahrt, and A. Hansel, "VOC Emission and Deposition Eddy Covariance Fluxes above Grassland using PTR-TOF", AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts, vol. 1, pp. 0219, 2010.
Eddy covariance (EC) is the preferable technique for flux measurements since it is the only direct flux determination method. It requires a continuum of high time resolution measurements (e.g. 5-20 Hz). For volatile organic compounds (VOC) soft ionization via proton transfer reaction has proven to be a quantitative method for real time mass spectrometry; here we use a proton transfer reaction time of flight mass spectrometer (PTR-TOF) for 10 Hz EC measurements of full mass spectra up to m/z 315. The mass resolution of the PTR-TOF enabled the identification of chemical formulas and separation of oxygenated and hydrocarbon species exhibiting the same nominal mass. We determined 481 ion mass peaks from ambient air concentration above a managed, temperate mountain grassland in Neustift, Stubai Valley, Austria. During harvesting we found significant fluxes of 18 compounds distributed over 43 ions, including protonated parent compounds, as well as their isotopes and fragments and VOC-H+ - water clusters. The dominant BVOC fluxes were methanol, acetaldehyde, ethanol, hexenal and other C6 leaf wound compounds, acetone, acetic acid, monoterpenes and sequiterpenes. The smallest reliable fluxes we determined were less than 0.1 nmol m-2 s-1, as in the case of sesquiterpene emissions from freshly cut grass. Terpenoids, including mono- and sesquiterpenes, were also deposited to the grassland before and after the harvesting. During cutting, total VOC emission fluxes up to 200 nmolC m-2 s-1 were measured. Methanol emissions accounted for half of the emissions of oxygenated VOCs and a third of the carbon of all measured VOC emissions during harvesting.
[Shaw2007] Shaw, S. L., F. M. Mitloehner, W. Jackson, E. J. Depeters, J. G. Fadel, P. H. Robinson, R. Holzinger, and A. H. Goldstein, "Volatile organic compound emissions from dairy cows and their waste as measured by proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometry.", Environ Sci Technol, vol. 41, no. 4: Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California, Berkeley, Hilgard Hall, Berkeley, California 94720, USA., pp. 1310–1316, Feb, 2007.
California dairies house approximately 1.8 million lactating and 1.5 million dry cows and heifers. State air regulatory agencies view these dairies as a major air pollutant source, but emissions data are sparse, particularly for volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The objective of this work was to determine VOC emissions from lactating and dry dairy cows and their waste using an environmental chamber. Carbon dioxide and methane were measured to provide context for the VOCs. VOCs were measured by proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS). The compounds with highest fluxes when cows plus waste were present were methanol, acetone + propanal, dimethylsulfide, and m/z 109 (likely 4-methyl-phenol). The compounds with highest fluxes from fresh waste (urine and feces) were methanol, m/z 109, and m/z 60 (likely trimethylamine). Ethanol fluxes are reported qualitatively, and several VOCs that were likely emitted (formaldehyde, methylamine, dimethylamine) were not detectable by PTR-MS. The sum of reactive VOC fluxes measured when cows were present was a factor of 6-10 less than estimates historically used for regulatory purposes. In addition, ozone formation potentials of the dominant VOCs were -10% those of typical combustion or biogenic VOCs. Thus dairy cattle have a comparatively small impact on ozone formation per VOC mass emitted.
[1510] Jardine, K. J., R. K. Monson, L. Abrell, S. R. Saleska, A. Arneth, A. Jardine, Fᅢᄃoise. Yoko Ishida, A. Maria Yane Serrano, P. Artaxo, T. Karl, et al., "Within-plant isoprene oxidation confirmed by direct emissions of oxidation products methyl vinyl ketone and methacrolein", Glob Change Biol, vol. 18, pp. 973–984, Mar, 2012.
Link: et al. 2012 GCB published.pdf
<p>Isoprene is emitted from many terrestrial plants at high rates, accounting for an estimated 1/3 of annual global volatile organic compound emissions from all anthropogenic and biogenic sources combined. Through rapid photooxidation reactions in the atmosphere, isoprene is converted to a variety of oxidized hydrocarbons, providing higher order reactants for the production of organic nitrates and tropospheric ozone, reducing the availability of oxidants for the breakdown of radiatively active trace gases such as methane, and potentially producing hygroscopic particles that act as effective cloud condensation nuclei. However, the functional basis for plant production of isoprene remains elusive. It has been hypothesized that in the cell isoprene mitigates oxidative damage during the stress-induced accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), but the products of isoprene-ROS reactions in plants have not been detected. Using pyruvate-2-13C leaf and branch feeding and individual branch and whole mesocosm flux studies, we present evidence that isoprene (i) is oxidized to methyl vinyl ketone and methacrolein (iox) in leaves and that iox/i emission ratios increase with temperature, possibly due to an increase in ROS production under high temperature and light stress. In a primary rainforest in Amazonia, we inferred significant in plant isoprene oxidation (despite the strong masking effect of simultaneous atmospheric oxidation), from its influence on the vertical distribution of iox uptake fluxes, which were shifted to low isoprene emitting regions of the canopy. These observations suggest that carbon investment in isoprene production is larger than that inferred from emissions alone and that models of tropospheric chemistry and biota&ndash;chemistry&ndash;climate interactions should incorporate isoprene oxidation within both the biosphere and the atmosphere with potential implications for better understanding both the oxidizing power of the troposphere and forest response to climate change.</p>
[Graus2003] Graus, M., J. Kreuzwieser, J. Schnitzler, A. Wisthaler, A. Hansel, and H. Rennenberg, "Xylem-Transported Glucose as an Additional Carbon Source for Leaf Isoprene Formation in Quercus Robur L.", EGS-AGU-EUG Joint Assembly, vol. 1, pp. 10692, 2003.
Isoprene is emitted from mature, photosynthesizing leaves of many plant species, particularly of trees. Current interest in understanding the biochemical and physiological mechanisms controlling isoprene formation is caused by the important role isoprene plays in atmospheric chemistry. Isoprene reacts with hydroxyl radicals (OH) thereby generating oxidizing agents such as ozone and organic peroxides. Ozone causes significant deterioration in air quality and can pose threats to human health therefore its control is a major goal in Europe and the United States. In recent years, much progress has been made in elucidating the pathways of isoprene biosynthesis. Nevertheless the regulatory mechanisms controlling isoprene emission are not completely understood. Light and temperature appear to be the main factors controlling short-term variations in isoprene emission. Exposure of plants to C-13 labeled carbon dioxide showed instantaneous assimilated carbon is the primary carbon source for isoprene formation. However, variations in diurnal and seasonal isoprene fluxes, which cannot be explained by temperature, light, and leaf development led to the suggestion that alternative carbon sources may exist contributing to isoprene emissions. The aim of the present study was to test whether xylem-transported carbohydrates act as additional sources for isoprene biosynthesis. For this purpose, [U-C-13] alpha-D-glucose was fed to photosynthesizing leaves via the xylem of Quercus robur L. seedlings and the incorporation of glucose derived C-13 into emitted isoprene was monitored in real time using Proton-Transfer-Reaction Mass Spectrometry (PTR-MS). A rapid incorporation of C-13 from xylem-fed glucose into single (mass 70) and double (mass 71) C-13 labeled isoprene molecules was observed after a lag phase of approximately 5 to 10 minutes. This incorporation was temperature dependent and was highest (up to 13% C-13 of total carbon emitted as isoprene) at the temperature optimum of isoprene emission (40 - 42°C) when net assimilation was strongly reduced. Fast dark-to-light transitions led to a strong single or double C-13 labeling of isoprene from xylem-fed [U-C-13] glucose. During a time period of 10 - 15 minutes up to 86% of all isoprene molecules became single or double C-13 labeled, resulting in a C-13 portion of up to 30% of total carbon emitted as isoprene. The results provide potential evidence that xylem-transported glucose or its degradation products can be used as additional precursors for isoprene biosynthesis and this carbon source becomes more important under conditions of limited photosynthesis.


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Selected PTR-MS related Reviews

F. Biasioli, C. Yeretzian, F. Gasperi, T. D. Märk: PTR-MS monitoring of VOCs and BVOCs in food science and technology, Trends in Analytical Chemistry 30 (7) (2011).

J. de Gouw, C. Warneke, T. Karl, G. Eerdekens, C. van der Veen, R. Fall: Measurement of Volatile Organic Compounds in the Earth's Atmosphere using Proton-Transfer-Reaction Mass Spectrometry. Mass Spectrometry Reviews, 26 (2007), 223-257.

W. Lindinger, A. Hansel, A. Jordan: Proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometry (PTR–MS): on-line monitoring of volatile organic compounds at pptv levels, Chem. Soc. Rev. 27 (1998), 347-375.


Lists with PTR-MS relevant publications of the University of Innsbruck can be found here: Atmospheric and indoor air chemistry, IMR, Environmental Physics and Nano-Bio-Physics


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