Mobile monitoring along a street canyon and stationary forest air monitoring of formaldehyde by means of a micro-gas analysis system
A micro-gas analysis system (μGAS) was developed for mobile monitoring and continuous measurements of atmospheric HCHO. HCHO gas was trapped into an absorbing/reaction solution continuously using a microchannel scrubber in which the microchannels were patterned in a honeycomb structure to form a wide absorbing area with a thin absorbing solution layer. Fluorescence was monitored after reaction of the collected HCHO with 2,4-pentanedione (PD) in the presence of acetic acid/ammonium acetate. The system was portable, battery-driven, highly sensitive (limit of detection = 0.01 ppbv) and had good time resolution (response time 50 s). The results revealed that the PD chemistry was subject to interference from O3. The mechanism of this interference was investigated and the problem was addressed by incorporating a wet denuder. Mobile monitoring was performed along traffic roads, and elevated HCHO levels in a street canyon were evident upon mapping of the obtained data. The system was also applied to stationary monitoring in a forest in which HCHO formed naturally via reaction of biogenic compounds with oxidants. Concentrations of a few ppbv-HCHO and several-tens of ppbv of O3 were then simultaneously monitored with the μGAS in forest air monitoring campaigns. The obtained 1 h average data were compared with those obtained by 1 h impinger collection and offsite GC-MS analysis after derivatization with o-(2,3,4,5,6-pentafluorobenzyl)hydroxylamine (PFBOA). From the obtained data in the forest, daily variations of chemical HCHO production and loss are discussed.