Trace level determination of saccharides in pristine marine aerosols by gas chromatography—tandem mass spectrometry

Na Rae Choi, Yong Jun Yoon, Ki Tae Park, Ki Ae Kim, Yong Pyo Kim, Yun Gyong Ahn, Ji Yi Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The quantification and identification of saccharides in pristine marine aerosols can provide useful information for determining the contributions of anthropogenic and natural sources of the aerosol. However, individual saccharide compounds in pristine marine aerosols that exist in trace amounts are difficult to analyze due to their low concentrations. Thus, in this study, we applied gas chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) in multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mode to analyze the particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter equal or less than 2.5 µm (PM2.5) samples, and the results were compared with those of conventional GC-MS. To investigate the chemical properties of pristine marine aerosols, 12 PM2.5 samples were collected while aboard Araon, an ice-breaking research vessel (IBRV), as it sailed from Incheon, South Korea to Antarctica. The method detection limits of GC-MS/MS for 10 saccharides were 2–22-fold lower than those of GC-MS. Consequently, the advantages of GC-MS/MS include (1) more distinct peak separations, enabling the accurate identification of the target saccharides and (2) the quantification of all individual saccharide compounds with concentrations outside the quantifiable range of GC-MS. Accordingly, the time resolution for sampling saccharides in pristine marine aerosols can be improved with GC-MS/MS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number86
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Antarctica
  • Gas chromatography
  • IBRV Araon
  • Marine aerosol
  • Saccharides
  • Tandem mass spectrometry


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