Determination of monosaccharide anhydrides in atmospheric aerosols by use of high-performance liquid chromatography combined with high-resolution mass spectrometry

Anal Chem. 2005 Mar 15;77(6):1853-8. doi: 10.1021/ac049461j.


A novel method for determination of the monosaccharide anhydrides (MAs) levoglucosan, mannosan, and galactosan in atmospheric aerosols has been developed. The method is based on solvent extraction of aerosol filter samples and chemical analysis performed with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) combined with time-of-flight high-resolution mass spectrometry. The MAs were separated on two series connected 2.1 mm x150 mm reversed-phase HPLC columns and identified by negative electrospray ionization mass spectrometry using the m/z 113, 129, and 161 as monitoring ions. The limit of quantification (LOQ) at S/N 10 ranges between 20 and 40 pg for the three isomers. The LOQ can easily be improved. Samples from Elverum (urban background) and Oslo (urban) in Norway were used in validation experiments. Tetrahydrofuran was found to be the most efficient extraction solvent. The choice of solvent is of crucial importance to minimize adsorption to the glassware. Interactions between the MAs and active sites on the quartz filter surface are observed.