[Lindinger1998a] "On-line monitoring of volatile organic compounds at pptv levels by means of proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) medical applications, food control and environmental research",
International Journal of Mass Spectrometry and Ion Processes
, vol. 173, no. 3, pp. 191 - 241, 1998.
A proton transfer reaction mass spectrometer (PTR-MS) system has been developed which allows for on-line measurements of trace components with concentrations as low as a few pptv. The method is based on reactions of H3O+ ions, which perform non-dissociative proton transfer to most of the common volatile organic compounds (VOCs) but do not react with any of the components present in clean air. Medical applications by means of breath analysis allow for monitoring of metabolic processes in the human body, and examples of food research are discussed on the basis of VOC emissions from fruit, coffee and meat. Environmental applications include investigations of VOC emissions from decaying biomatter which have been found to be an important source for tropospheric acetone, methanol and ethanol. On-line monitoring of the diurnal variations of VOCs in the troposphere yield data demonstrating the present sensitivity of PTR-MS to be in the range of a few pptv. Finally, PTR-MS has proven to be an ideal tool to measure Henry's law constants and their dependencies on temperature as well as on the salt content of water.