Steven Sai Hang Ho 1,2,3, Ho Sai Simon Ip3, Kin Fai Ho1,4, Wen-Ting Dai1, Junji Cao1, Louisa Pan Ting Ng3

  • 1 SKLLQG, Institute of Earth Environment Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an 710075, China
  • 2 Division of Atmospheric Science, Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV 89512, USA
  • 3 Hong Kong Premium Services and Research Laboratory, Chai Wan, Hong Kong, China
  • 4 School of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Received: November 13, 2012
Revised: January 29, 2013
Accepted: January 29, 2013
Download Citation: ||  

  • Download: PDF

Cite this article:
Ho, S.S.H., Ip, H.S.S., Ho, K.F., Dai, W.T., Cao, J. and Ng, L.P.T. (2013). Technical Note: Concerns on the Use of Ozone Scrubbers for Gaseous Carbonyl Measurement by DNPH-Coated Silica Gel Cartridge. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 13: 1151-1160.



2,4-Dinitrophenylhydrazine (DNPH) is a typical derivatizing agent coated on sorbent cartridges for detection of carbonyl compounds at ambient levels. However, airborne oxidant of ozone (O3) can react with DNPH to form side products that can interfere with the accurate detection of carbonyls. It is the most critical interferer degrading carbonyl-DNP-hydrazone formed on the cartridge during sampling, resulting in underestimation of carbonyl concentrations; this strong oxidant can be removed by installing a denuder or scrubber coated or filled with potassium iodide (KI) upstream. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate and discuss the usage of novel KI-filled ozone traps in affecting carbonyl collection efficiency of DNPH-coated silica gel cartridges in field and laboratory settings. Results of the study showed that measured carbonyls concentrations were 4.9–13.5% lower in samples collected without any ozone traps compared to those collected with a commercially available ozone scrubber or KI denuder. Although ozone can be reduced efficiently by KI, both environmental relative humidity (RH) and byproducts formed from the oxidation of KI with ozone, namely iodine (I2) and hydroxyl ion (OH), can inhibit derivatization kinetics and contribute to degradation of the carbonyl-DNP-hydrazones formed during sampling. Placement of an acid-permeated polyethylene filter between the ozone scrubbers and the DNPH-coated cartridge notably improved carbonyl collection efficiency by neutralizing the byproduct OH. End-users of the DNPH method should consider these findings and evaluate the performance of ozone scrubbers accordingly during sampling events.

Keywords: Carbonyls; Ozone; Relative humidity; DNPH; Potassium iodide

Don't forget to share this article 


Subscribe to our Newsletter 

Aerosol and Air Quality Research has published over 2,000 peer-reviewed articles. Enter your email address to receive latest updates and research articles to your inbox every second week.

Latest coronavirus research from Aerosol and Air Quality Research

2018 Impact Factor: 2.735

5-Year Impact Factor: 2.827

SCImago Journal & Country Rank

Aerosol and Air Quality Research (AAQR) is an independently-run non-profit journal, promotes submissions of high-quality research, and strives to be one of the leading aerosol and air quality open-access journals in the world.