Free and combined amino acids in marine background atmospheric aerosols over the Eastern Mediterranean

TitleFree and combined amino acids in marine background atmospheric aerosols over the Eastern Mediterranean
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsMandalakis, M, Apostolaki M, Tziaras T, Polymenakou P, Stephanou EG
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Volume45
Issue4
Pages1003 - 1009
Keywordsamino acids, marine aerosols, Mediterranean Sea, proteinaceous material, water-soluble organic carbon
Abstract

During a six-week intensive field campaign at a background marine site of the Eastern Mediterranean, consecutive 24-h air samples were collected and analyzed for combined (CAA) and free amino acids (FAA), as well as for key chemical characteristics of aerosols. The total concentration of CAA (719 ± 326 pmol m -3) was on average four times higher than that of FAA (172 ± 147 pmol m -3), while glycine was the most abundant compound detected in both FAA and CAA. Back-trajectory analysis demonstrated that the geographical origin of the air masses did not have a significant influence on the atmospheric levels of amino acids. Wind speed was found to be the most important meteorological factor and it exhibited a negative correlation with both FAA and CAA. Moreover, FAA and CAA concentrations showed a more pronounced correlation with water-soluble organic carbon (WSOC) than elemental carbon. On average, FAA and CAA accounted for 0.3 ± 0.2% and 1.8 ± 0.8% of WSOC, respectively. The levels of anionic surfactants determined as methylene blue active substances did not show any positive correlation with CAA, while the corresponding correlation with FAA was only of marginal significance. The total protein concentration measured by NanoOrange assay was six times higher compared to that measured through CAA. It is suggested that the results from the application of commercially available protein quantitation kits should always be considered with caution, as these are more prone to matrix-related interferences. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

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