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Sampling and Analysis of Acrolein using DNPH Derivatization

Presented at the Air and Waste Management Association Conference, 2004

Sucha S. Parmar, Vanessa de Vera and James Aldea-Cruz

Atmospheric Analysis and Consulting, Inc., 1534 Eastman Ave., Suite A, Ventura, CA 93003


Determination of carbonyl compounds in ambient air as well as in industrial stacks is receiving increased attention because of the critical role these compounds play in tropospheric organic chemistry, including ozone formation and photochemical smog. Aldehydes and ketones are sampled using DNPH derivatization methods (EPA 0011, TO-11A, and CARB 430) followed by HPLC/UV analysis. The acrolein chemistry associated with derivatization is complex because of tautomerization of its hydrazone in acidified DNPH solution. In this investigation, the problems associated with the unsaturated carbonyls, i.e. acrolein, sampling and analysis are addressed in terms of equilibrium chemistry and instability of its DNPH derivative. The addition of extraction solvent (toluene) during sampling significantly improved the recovery of acrolein. The acrolein reacts with DNPH in the acidic solution and the hydrazone formed is continuously extracted out of the aqueous phase by the toluene.

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