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Measurements of Oxalic Acid, Oxalates, Malonic Acid, and Malonates in Atmospheric Particulates

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journal contribution
posted on 2008-12-15, 00:00 authored by Liming Yang, Liya E. Yu
This study systematically examined effects of analytical approaches on resultant concentrations of oxalic acid, oxalates, malonic acid, and malonates. Results demonstrated that employing separate water extraction and THF extraction is required to properly quantify dicarboxylic acids vs dicarboxylates using IC or GC−MS. Applications of the recommended methods to analyze PM2.5 collected in Singapore showed that concentrations of oxalate ranged from 361.4 to 481.4 ng m−3, which were 10−14.7 times higher than that of oxalic acid. Unlike that of oxalates, malonate concentrations (10.5−23.4 ng m−3) were no more than half of malonic acid concentration (43.8−53.9 ng m−3) in PM2.5. Concentration ratios of oxalate-to-oxalic acid and malonate-to-malonic acid obtained from this work were applied to reported literature data; as a first approximation, in urban environments similar to that in Singapore, quantifiable oxalic acid, oxalates, malonic acid, and malonates in PM2.5 could range from 7.6 to 68.0, 82.2 to 732.8, 6.3 to 150, and 1.3 to 60 ng m−3, respectively. Because photooxidation properties and hygroscopicity of dicarboxylic acids can substantially differ from that of dicarboxylates, more studies are needed to quantify ambient oxalic acid and malonic acid vs oxalates and malonates.

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