[Warneke2006] "Biomass burning and anthropogenic sources of CO over New England in the summer 2004",
Journal of geophysical research
, vol. 111, no. D23: American Geophysical Union, pp. D23S15, 2006.
During the summer of 2004 large wildfires were burning in Alaska and Canada, and part of the emissions were transported toward the northeast United States, where they were measured during the NEAQS-ITCT 2k4 (New England Air Quality Study–Intercontinental Transport and Chemical Transformation) study on board the NOAA WP-3 aircraft and the NOAA research vessel Ronald H. Brown. Using acetonitrile and chloroform as tracers the biomass burning and the anthropogenic fraction of the carbon monoxide (CO) enhancement are determined. As much as 30% of the measured enhancement is attributed to the forest fires in Alaska and Canada transported into the region, and 70% is attributed to the urban emissions of mainly New York and Boston. On some days the forest fire emissions were mixed down to the surface and dominated the CO enhancement. The results compare well with the FLEXPART transport model, indicating that the total emissions during the measurement campaign for biomass burning might be about 22 Tg. The total U.S. anthropogenic CO sources used in FLEXPART are 25 Tg. FLEXPART model, using the U.S. EPA NEI-99 data, overpredicts the CO mixing ratio around Boston and New York in 2004 by about 50%.
[Holzinger1999] "Biomass burning as a source of formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, methanol, acetone, acetonitrile, and hydrogen cyanide",
Geophysical Research Letters
, vol. 26, no. 8: Wiley Online Library, pp. 1161–1164, 1999.
[Yuan2010] "Biomass burning contributions to ambient VOCs species at a receptor site in the Pearl River Delta (PRD), China.",
Environ Sci Technol
, vol. 44, no. 12: State Joint Key Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University, Beijing, 100871, China., pp. 4577–4582, Jun, 2010.
Ambient VOCs were measured by a proton transfer reaction-mass spectrometer (PTR-MS) at a receptor site in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) during October 19-November 18, 2008. Biomass burning plumes are identified by using acetonitrile as tracer, and enhancement ratios (ERs) of nine VOCs species relative to acetonitrile are obtained from linear regression analysis and the source-tracer-ratio method. Enhancement ratios determined by the two different methods show good agreement for most VOCs species. Biomass burning contributions are investigated by using the source-tracer-ratio method. Biomass burning contributed 9.5%-17.7% to mixing ratios of the nine VOCs. The estimated biomass burning contributions are compared with local emission inventories. Large discrepancies are observed between our results and the estimates in two emission inventories. Though biomass burning emissions in TRACE-P inventory agree well with our results, the VOCs speciation for aromatic compounds may be not appropriate for Guangdong.
 "Biotic, abiotic and management controls on methanol exchange above a temperate mountain grassland.",
J Geophys Res Biogeosci
, vol. 116, Sep, 2011.
<p>Methanol (CH3OH) fluxes were quantified above a managed temperate mountain grassland in the Stubai Valley (Tyrol, Austria) during the growing seasons 2008 and 2009. Half-hourly methanol fluxes were calculated by means of the virtual disjunct eddy covariance (vDEC) method using 3-dimensional wind data from a sonic anemometer and methanol volume mixing ratios measured with a proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometer (PTR-MS). During (undisturbed) mature and growing phases methanol fluxes exhibited a clear diurnal cycle with close-to-zero fluxes during nighttime and emissions, up to 10 nmol m(-2) s(-1), which followed the diurnal course of radiation and air temperature. Management events were found to represent the largest perturbations of methanol exchange at the studied grassland ecosystem: Peak emissions of 144.5 nmol m(-2) s(-1) were found during/after cutting of the meadow reflecting the wounding of the plant material and subsequent depletion of the leaf internal aqueous methanol pools. After the application of organic fertilizer, elevated methanol emissions of up to 26.7 nmol m(-2) s(-1) were observed, likely reflecting enhanced microbial activity associated with the applied manure. Simple and multiple linear regression analyses revealed air temperature and radiation as the dominant abiotic controls, jointly explaining 47 % and 70 % of the variability in half-hourly and daily methanol fluxes. In contrast to published leaf-level laboratory studies, the surface conductance and the daily change in the amount of green plant area, used as ecosystem-scale proxies for stomatal conductance and growth, respectively, were found to exert only minor biotic controls on methanol exchange.</p>
[Righettoni2012] "Breath acetone monitoring by portable Si:WO3 gas sensors.",
Anal Chim Acta
, vol. 738: Particle Technology Laboratory, Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering ETH Zurich, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland., pp. 69–75, Aug, 2012.
Breath analysis has the potential for early stage detection and monitoring of illnesses to drastically reduce the corresponding medical diagnostic costs and improve the quality of life of patients suffering from chronic illnesses. In particular, the detection of acetone in the human breath is promising for non-invasive diagnosis and painless monitoring of diabetes (no finger pricking). Here, a portable acetone sensor consisting of flame-deposited and in situ annealed, Si-doped epsilon-WO(3) nanostructured films was developed. The chamber volume was miniaturized while reaction-limited and transport-limited gas flow rates were identified and sensing temperatures were optimized resulting in a low detection limit of acetone (?20ppb) with short response (10-15s) and recovery times (35-70s). Furthermore, the sensor signal (response) was robust against variations of the exhaled breath flow rate facilitating application of these sensors at realistic relative humidities (80-90%) as in the human breath. The acetone content in the breath of test persons was monitored continuously and compared to that of state-of-the-art proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS). Such portable devices can accurately track breath acetone concentration to become an alternative to more elaborate breath analysis techniques.
[Schwarz2009] "Breath acetone-aspects of normal physiology related to age and gender as determined in a PTR-MS study.",
J Breath Res
, vol. 3, no. 2: Department of Operative Medicine, Innsbruck Medical University, Anichstrasse 35, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria. Breath Research Unit of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Dammstrasse 22, A-6850 Dornbirn, Austria., pp. 027003, Jun, 2009.
The present study was performed to determine the variations of breath acetone concentrations with age, gender and body-mass index (BMI). Previous investigations were based on a relatively small cohort of subjects (see Turner et al 2006 Physiol. Meas. 27 321-37). Since exhaled breath analysis is affected by considerable variation, larger studies are needed to get reliable information about the correlation of concentrations of volatiles in breath when compared with age, gender and BMI. Mixed expiratory exhaled breath was sampled using Tedlar bags. The concentrations of a mass-to-charge ratio (m/z) of 59, attributed to acetone, were then determined using proton transfer reaction-mass spectrometry. Our cohort, consisting of 243 adult volunteers not suffering from diabetes, was divided into two groups: one that fasted overnight prior to sampling (215 volunteers) and the other without a dietary control (28 volunteers). In addition, we considered a group of 44 healthy children (5-11 years old).The fasted subjects' concentrations of acetone ranged from 177 ppb to 2441 ppb, with an overall geometric mean (GM) of 628 ppb; in the group without a dietary control, the subjects' concentrations ranged from 281 ppb to 1246 ppb with an overall GM of 544 ppb. We found no statistically significant shift between the distributions of acetone levels in the breath of males and females in the fasted group (the Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney test yielded p = 0.0923, the medians being 652 ppb and 587 ppb). Similarly, there did not seem to be a difference between the acetone levels of males and females in the group without a dietary control. Aging was associated with a slight increase of acetone in the fasted females; in males the increase was not statistically significant. Compared with the adults (a merged group), our group of children (5-11 years old) showed lower concentrations of acetone (p < 0.001), with a median of 263 ppb. No correlation was found between the acetone levels and BMI in adults. Our results extend those of Turner et al's (2006 Physiol. Meas. 27 321-37), who analyzed the breath of 30 volunteers (without a dietary control) by selected ion flow tube-mass spectrometry. They reported a positive correlation with age (but without statistical significance in their cohort, with p = 0.82 for males and p = 0.45 for females), and, unlike us, arrived at a p-value of 0.02 for the separation of males and females with respect to acetone concentrations. Our median acetone concentration for children (5-11 years) coincides with the median acetone concentration of young adults (17-19 years) reported by Spanel et al (2007 J. Breath Res. 1 026001).
[Herbig2011] "Breath Analysis with PTR-MS: More breath markers for lung cancer",
5th International PTR-MS Conference on Proton Transfer Reaction Mass Spectrometry and Its Applications
, pp. 31-33, 2011.
In a clinical screening study we have measured several hundred subjects using real-time breath analysis with PTR-MS. We present and discuss potential breath markers for lung cancer with a critical view on the data analysis. The presented problems and solutions are also applicable to other analytical methods used in breath analysis.
[Mair2011] "Breath gas analysis by PTR-TOF-MS in a clinical setting",
5th International PTR-MS Conference on Proton Transfer Reaction Mass Spectrometry and Its Applications
, pp. 231, 2011.
Typical clinical (breath analysis) studies take several months to years. Employing a Proton-Transfer-Reaction Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer (PTR-TOF-MS) as an analytical tool for breath analysis, a constant performance of the instrument is essential. Here we report on the longterm performance of a PTR-TOF-MS for the analysis of exhaled breath gas in the frame of a clinical study. Performance data are shown for a period of 7 months. We characterized the sampling procedure, sample storage, and measured sensitivity and detection limit for a set of VOCs with relevance in breath analysis. Over the period of 7 months, we were able to achieve a high mass accuracy and precision in the range of ppm.
[Mayr2003b] "Breath-by-breath analysis of banana aroma by proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry",
International Journal of Mass Spectrometry
, vol. 223: Elsevier, pp. 743–756, 2003.
We report on the in vivo breath-by-breath analysis of volatiles released in the mouth during eating of ripe and unripe banana. The air exhaled through the nose, nosespace (NS), is directly introduced into a proton transfer reaction mass spectrometer and the time-intensity profiles of a series of volatiles are monitored on-line. These include isopentyl and isobutyl acetate, two characteristic odour compounds of ripe banana, and 2E-hexenal and hexanal, compounds typical of unripe banana. Comparing the NS with the headspace (HS) profile, two differences are outlined. First, NS concentrations of some compounds are increased, compared to the HS, while others are decreased. This indicates that the in-mouth situation has characteristics of its own—mastication, mixing/dilution with saliva, temperature and pH—which modify the aroma relative to an HS aroma. Second, we discuss the temporal evolution of the NS. While 2E-hexenal and hexanal steadily increase in the NS during mastication of unripe banana, no such evolution is observed in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) while eating ripe banana. Furthermore, ripe banana shows high VOC concentrations in the swallow breath in contrast to unripe banana.
[Herbig2008] "Buffered end-tidal (BET) sampling-a novel method for real-time breath-gas analysis.",
J Breath Res
, vol. 2, no. 3: Ionimed Analytik GmbH, Technikerstrasse 21a, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria., pp. 037008, Sep, 2008.
We present a novel method for real-time breath-gas analysis using mass-spectrometric techniques: buffered end-tidal (BET) on-line sampling. BET has several advantages over conventional direct on-line sampling where the subject inhales and exhales through a sampling tube. In our approach, a single exhalation is administered through a tailored tube in which the end-tidal fraction of the breath-gas sample is buffered. This increases sampling time by an order of magnitude to several seconds, improving signal quality and reducing the total measurement time per test subject. Furthermore, only one exhalation per minute is required for sampling and the test subject can otherwise maintain a normal breathing pattern, thereby reducing the risk of hyperventilation. To validate our new BET sampling method we conducted comparative measurements with direct on-line sampling using proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometry. We find excellent agreement in measured acetone and acetonitrile concentrations. High variability observed in breath-by-breath isoprene concentrations is attributed to differences in exhalation depth and influences of hyperventilation on end-tidal concentrations.
[VanRuth2008] "Butter and butter oil classification by PTR-MS",
European Food Research and Technology
, vol. 227, no. 1: Springer, pp. 307–317, 2008.
The potential of proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) as a tool for classification of milk fats was evaluated in relation to quality and authentication issues. Butters and butter oils were subjected to heat and off-flavouring treatments in order to create sensorially defective samples. The effect of the treatments was evaluated by means of PTR-MS analysis, sensory analysis and classical chemical analysis. Subsequently, partial least square-discriminant analysis models (PLS-DA) were fitted to predict the matrix (butter/butter oil) and the sensory grades of the samples from their PTR-MS data. Using a 10-fold cross-validation scheme, 84% of the samples were successfully classified into butter and butter oil classes. Regarding sensory quality, 89% of the samples were correctly classified. As the milk fats were fairly successfully classified by the combination of PTR-MS and PLS-DA, this combination seems a promising approach with potential applications in quality control and control of regulations.
[Bamberger2010] "BVOC fluxes above mountain grassland",
, vol. 7, no. 5: Copernicus GmbH, pp. 1413–1424, 2010.
 "BVOC fluxes above mountain grassland.",
, vol. 7, May, 2010.
<p>Grasslands comprise natural tropical savannah over managed temperate fields to tundra and cover one quarter of the Earth's land surface. Plant growth, maintenance and decay result in volatile organic compound (VOCs) emissions to the atmosphere. Furthermore, biogenic VOCs (BVOCs) are emitted as a consequence of various environmental stresses including cutting and drying during harvesting. Fluxes of BVOCs were measured with a proton-transfer-reaction-mass-spectrometer (PTR-MS) over temperate mountain grassland in Stubai Valley (Tyrol, Austria) over one growing season (2008). VOC fluxes were calculated from the disjunct PTR-MS data using the virtual disjunct eddy covariance method and the gap filling method. Methanol fluxes obtained with the two independent flux calculation methods were highly correlated (y = 0.95×-0.12, R (2) = 0.92). Methanol showed strong daytime emissions throughout the growing season - with maximal values of 9.7 nmol m(-2) s(-1), methanol fluxes from the growing grassland were considerably higher at the beginning of the growing season in June compared to those measured during October (2.5 nmol m(-2) s(-1)). Methanol was the only component that exhibited consistent fluxes during the entire growing periods of the grass. The cutting and drying of the grass increased the emissions of methanol to up to 78.4 nmol m(-2) s(-1). In addition, emissions of acetaldehyde (up to 11.0 nmol m(-2) s(-1)), and hexenal (leaf aldehyde, up to 8.6 nmol m(-2) s(-1)) were detected during/after harvesting.</p>