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Application of innovative PTR-TOF mass spectrometry in plant biology, environmental science and food/food packaging

Periodic Report Summary - PTR-TOF (Application of innovative PTR-TOF mass spectrometry in plant biology, environmental science and food/food packaging)

Application of innovative PTR-TOF mass spectrometry in plant biology, environmental science and food/food packaging (Project No: 218065)

Proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) uses chemical ionisation to detect volatile organic compounds (VOCs) virtually in real time. PTR-MS has found numerous applications. For the last ten years IONICON Analytik www.ptrms.com/ has manufactured and distributed more than 140 instruments all over the world. As exciting as this tool is, the PTR-MS technique does not yet have the full analytical capability to distinguish between isobaric species. Recently, scientists from UIBK combined a compact TOF-MS from TOFWERK AG www.tofwerk.com/ with a PTR source successfully. This PTR-TOF prototype offers the following features:

- An extremely high mass resolution, m/m 6.000 which allows the separation of isobaric species!
- To record full mass spectra up to 500 amu within a second! This represents an increase of the duty cycle by more than a factor of 100 compared to conventional PTR-MS
The overall objective of this project is to link three leading European academic institutions, having expertise in "plant biology", "environmental science", and "food, /food packaging" with two innovative SMEs through an intensive transfer-of-knowledge approach. This link will facilitate the application of the recently developed PTR-TOF instrument for various scientific pursuits and hence will speed up the devices time-to-market release. (www.ptr-tof.com/)

What could we achieve within the first two years?

- New scientific results were published very recently in the research fields of plant biology, and environmental science:
- Müller et al. (2010) First Eddy Covariance Flux Measurements by PTR-TOF, Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 3, 387-395
- Ruuskanen et al. (2010) Eddy covariance VOC flux emission and deposition above grassland using PTR-TOF, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussion, 10, 21077-21108; doi:10.5194/acpd-10-21077-2010
- Training of scientists to use PTR-TOF technology with the long term goal that they will continue to perform research with this technology.

Newly recruited scientists and seconded personnel were trained and will use PTR-TOF instruments in the near future.
- Development of an unprecedented, high resolution mass spectrometry technology (PTR-TOF) which is capable of detecting VOCs in real time

PTR-TOF instruments are now commercially available from IONICON Analytik: www.ptrms.com/products/ptrtofms/index.html