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Title: Analysis of Organic Anionic Surfactants in Fine and Coarse Fractions of Freshly Emitted Sea Spray Aerosol

The inclusion of organic compounds in freshly emitted sea spray aerosol (SSA) has been shown to be size-dependent, with an increasing organic fraction in smaller particles. Defining the molecular composition of sea spray aerosol has proven challenging, due to the mix of continental and background particles even in remote marine environments. Here we have used electrospray ionization-high resolution mass spectrometry in negative ion mode to identify organic compounds in nascent sea spray collected throughout a 25-day mesocosm experiment. Over 280 organic compounds from ten major homologous series were identified. These compounds were operationally defined as molecules containing a hydrophobic alkyl chain with a hydrophilic head group making them surface active. The most abundant class of molecules detected were saturated (C8–C24) and unsaturated (C12–C22) fatty acids. Fatty acid derivatives (including saturated oxo-fatty acids (C5–C18) and saturated hydroxy-fatty acids (C5–C18) were also identified. Interestingly, anthropogenic influences on SSA from the seawater were observed in the form of sulfate (C2–C7, C12–C17) and sulfonate (C16–C22) species. During the mesocosm, the distributions of molecules within each homologous series were observed to respond to variations among the levels of phytoplankton and bacteria in the seawater, indicating an important role of biological processes in determining the compositionmore » of SSA.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0013-936X; 48375; KP1704020
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Science and Technology; Journal Volume: 50; Journal Issue: 5
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory