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Journal of Analytical Methods in Chemistry
Volume 2018, Article ID 8341630, 9 pages
Research Article

Analysis of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Ambient Aerosols by Using One-Dimensional and Comprehensive Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography Combined with Mass Spectrometric Method: A Comparative Study

1Western Seoul Center, Korea Basic Science Institute, Seoul 03759, Republic of Korea
2Air Quality Research Division, National Institute of Environmental Research, Incheon 22689, Republic of Korea
3Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 03759, Republic of Korea
4Department of Chemical Engineering and Material Science, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 03760, Republic of Korea

Correspondence should be addressed to Ji Yi Lee;

Received 14 December 2017; Revised 6 February 2018; Accepted 19 February 2018; Published 1 April 2018

Academic Editor: Federica Bianchi

Copyright © 2018 Yun Gyong Ahn et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Advanced separation technology paired with mass spectrometry is an ideal method for the analysis of atmospheric samples having complex chemical compositions. Due to the huge variety of both natural and anthropogenic sources of organic compounds, simultaneous quantification and identification of organic compounds in aerosol samples represents a demanding analytical challenge. In this regard, comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography with time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC×GC-TOFMS) has become an effective analytical method. However, verification and validation approaches to quantify these analytes have not been critically evaluated. We compared the performance of gas chromatography with quadrupole mass spectrometry (GC-qMS) and GC×GC-TOFMS for quantitative analysis of eighteen target polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The quantitative obtained results such as limits of detection (LODs), limits of quantification (LOQs), and recoveries of target PAHs were approximately equivalent based on both analytical methods. Furthermore, a larger number of analytes were consistently identified from the aerosol samples by GC×GC-TOFMS compared to GC-qMS. Our findings suggest that GC×GC-TOFMS would be widely applicable to the atmospheric and related sciences with simultaneous target and nontarget analysis in a single run.