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VOCs emitted by living organisms

BiogenicsIt is not widely appreciated that the VOCs emitted by plants, moulds, animals and other life-forms – so-called ‘biogenic’ emissions – outweigh global anthropogenic VOC emissions by a factor of 10.

Biogenic VOCs are of current interest to atmospheric chemists dealing with the impact of airborne VOCs on air quality and atmospheric processes in general. However, they are also of interest from a biological perspective, as profiles of compounds such as monoterpenes can help to identify the species emitting them (and their phase of growth).

Biogenic VOCs also have an impact on local and regional atmospheric chemistry, and there are wide differences depending on land use. For example, biogenic emissions in the densely forested Nordic regions of Europe can play an important role in the regional oxidant budget.

In addition, in the marine environment a number of volatile halogenated hydrocarbons are produced by phytoplankton, bacteria and macroalgae, as well as by photochemical processes. These compounds eventually migrate to the atmosphere, where they can influence ozone levels and global climate. As a result, this is a topic of particular interest to atmospheric researchers.

What Markes can offer

The fact that studies of biogenic VOCs are carried out at particular times of the year, and in remote locations, makes sampling costly to repeat – as a result, sample security is paramount.

Sorbent sampling tubes incorporating diffusion-locking technology are a useful innovation in this respect, as they prevent ingress of contaminants or escape of analytes during transport to and from the field. Thermal desorbers that allow re-collection (collecting the split portion of the sample on to a clean tube), such as Markes’ TD100-xr, provide valuable ‘insurance’ against sample loss, should the analytical system fail mid-run.

Another advanced feature specific to sorbent tube sampling is TubeTAG tube-tagging technology, which allows individual samples to be automatically tracked, significantly reducing the time spent in sample logging.

Further information

Markes International Ltd
Gwaun Elai Medi-Science Campus
Tel: +44 (0)1443 230935
Markes International GmbH
Bieberer Straße 1-7
63065 Offenbach am Main
Tel: +49 (0)69 6681089-10
USA (West)
Markes International, Inc.
2355 Gold Meadow Way
Gold River, Sacramento
California 95670
Tel: +1 866-483-5684 (toll-free)
Markes Instruments (Shanghai) Co., Ltd
Unit 1002, Building 1
No.418, Guilin Road
Shanghai 200233
P.R. China
Tel: +86 21 5465 1216
Part of Schauenburg International

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