An ion chromatography method with non-suppressed conductivity detection was developed for the simultaneous determination of methylamines (methylamine, dimethylamine, trimethylamine) and trimethylamine-N-oxide in particulate matter air samples. The analytes were well separated by means of cation-exchange chromatography using a 3 mM nitric acid/3.5% acetonitrile (v/v) eluent solution and a Metrosep C 2 250 (250 mm x 4 mm i.d.) separation column. The effects of the different chromatographic parameters on the separation were also investigated. Detection limits of methylamine, dimethylamine, trimethylamine, and trimethylamine-N-oxide were 43, 46, 76 and 72 microg/L, respectively. The relative standard deviations of the retention times were between 0.42% and 1.14% while the recoveries were between 78.8% and 88.3%. The method is suitable for determining if methylamines and trimethylamine-N-oxide are a significant component of organic nitrogen aerosol in areas with high concentration of these species.
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