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Talanta. 2001 Sep 13;55(3):561-72.

Isolation of water-soluble organic matter from atmospheric aerosol.

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Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Veszprém, PO Box 158, 8201 Veszprém, Hungary.


The development of a solid phase extraction (SPE) method is presented, which is capable of isolating approx. 60% of the water-soluble organic compounds from aerosol samples. The aqueous extracts of the filter samples were acidified then passed through an SPE column. Four silica-based and two polymeric reversed phase columns were tested and similar recoveries of the organic carbon were found. The isolated organic matter was nearly free from inorganic ions, which are major constituents of atmospheric aerosol. This fraction accounted for a major part of the UV absorption above 250 nm and fluorescence activity of the aerosol extract. The precision of the method was tested by performing three parallel sample preparations with Oasis HLB columns. It was found that the relative standard deviation of the carbon content of the isolated organic matter was better than 7%, which indicated the reliability of the method. In the atmospheric aerosol research the newly developed sample preparation method facilitates the physical and chemical characterisation of water-soluble organic compounds without the interference of inorganic constituents.


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