Studies have shown that biogenic compounds, long chain secondary compounds and long lifetime anthropogenic compounds are involved in the formation of organic aerosols in both polluted areas and remote places. This work aims at developing an active sampling method to monitor these compounds (i.e. 6 straight-chain saturated aldehydes from C6 to C11; 8 straight-chain alkanes from C9 to C16; 6 monoterpenes: α-pinene, β-pinene, camphene, limonene, α-terpinene, & γ-terpinene; and 5 aromatic compounds: toluene, ethylbenzene, meta-, para- and ortho-xylenes) in remote areas. Samples are collected onto multi-bed sorbent cartridges at 200 mL min−1 flow rate, using the automatic sampler SyPAC (TERA-Environnement, Crolles, France). No breakthrough was observed for sampling volumes up to 120 L (standard mixture at ambient temperature, with a relative humidity of 75%). As ozone has been shown to alter the samples (losses of 90% of aldehydes and up to 95% of terpenes were observed), the addition of a conditioned manganese dioxide (MnO2) scrubber to the system has been validated (full recovery of the affected compounds for a standard mixture at 50% relative humidity—RH). Samples are first thermodesorbed and then analysed by GC/FID/MS. This method allows suitable detection limits (from 2 ppt for camphene to 13 ppt for octanal—36 L sampled), and reproducibility (from 1% for toluene to 22% for heptanal). It has been successfully used to determine the diurnal variation of the target compounds (six 3 h samples a day) during winter and summer measurement campaigns at a remote site in the south of France.
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