An intercomparison study of analytical methods used for quantification of levoglucosan in ambient aerosol filter samples

Yttri, K. E.; Schnelle-Kreiss, J.; Maenhaut, W.; Alves, C.; Bossi, R.; Bjerke, A.; Claeys, M.; Dye, C.; Evtyugina, M.; García-Gacio, D.; Gülcin, A.; Hillamo, R.; Hoffer, A.; Hyder, M.; Iinuma, Y.; Jaffrezo, J. L.; Kasper-Giebl, A.; Kiss, G.; López-Mahia, P. L.; Pio, C.
December 2014
Atmospheric Measurement Techniques Discussions;2014, Vol. 7 Issue 7, p7397
Academic Journal
The monosaccharide anhydrides (MAs) levoglucosan, galactosan and mannosan are products of incomplete combustion and pyrolysis of cellulose and hemicelluloses, and are found to be major constituents of biomass burning aerosol particles. Hence, am-bient aerosol particle concentrations of levoglucosan are commonly used to study the influence of residential wood burning, agricultural waste burning and wild fire emissions on ambient air quality. A European-wide intercomparison on the analysis of the three monosaccharide anhydrides was conducted based on ambient aerosol quartz fiber filter samples collected at a Norwegian urban background site during winter. Thus, the samples' content of MAs is representative for biomass burning particles originating from residential wood burning. The purpose of the intercomparison was to examine the comparability of the great diversity of analytical methods used for analysis of levoglucosan, mannosan and galactosan in ambient aerosol filter samples. Thirteen laboratories participated, of which three applied High-Performance Anion-Exchange Chromatography (HPAEC), four used High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) or Ultra-Performance Liquid Chromatography (UPLC), and six resorted to Gas Chromatography (GC). The analytical methods used were of such diversity that they should be considered as thirteen different analytical methods. All of the thirteen laboratories reported levels of levoglucosan, whereas nine reported data for mannosan and/or galactosan. Eight of the thirteen laboratories reported levels for all three isomers. The accuracy for levoglucosan, presented as the mean percentage error (PE) for each participating laboratory, varied from -63 to 23 %; however, for 62% of the laboratories the mean PE was within ±10 %, and for 85% the mean PE was within ±20 %. For mannosan, the corresponding range was -60 to 69 %, but as for levoglucosan, the range was substantially smaller for a subselection of the laboratories; i.e., for 33% of the laboratories the mean PE was within ±10 %. For galactosan, the mean PE for the participating laboratories ranged from -84 to 593 %, and as for mannosan 33% of the laboratories reported a mean PE within ±10 %.


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