Rapid determination of anionic surfactants in atmospheric aerosol in an urban area using an improved methylene blue method

Minatsu Soda, Hiroshi Okochi, Hiroko Ogata, Hirokazu Okawa

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    The methylene blue method was troublesome and susceptible to operational error. In our improved method, we use only one vial (50 mL glass centrifuge tube) to determine the concentration of anionic surfactants as methylene blue active substances (MBAS). The combination of hand-shaking 20 times with shaking (1000 rpm) for 5 minutes by a shaker leads to a calibration curve (n = 4) with a high linearity (average r =0.996) and a high sensitivity (average 1.07 μM-1) within 0 - 0.12 μM. In the optimum condition, the recovery of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) was 94.7±3.3 % (n = 3) for a water extraction solution of blank quartz fiber filter, 92.3± 1.5 % (n = 4) for that of atmospheric aerosol collected on a quartz fiber filter, and 90.8± 3.5 % (n =3) for the throughfall of Japanese ceder (Cyptomeria japonica), respectively. This improved method revealed that the concentration of anionic surfactants in atmospheric aerosol ranged from 44.9 to 163 pmol m-3 (84.3 pmol m-3 on average, n =8) at Shinjuku, Tokyo in May, 2011.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)589-594
    Number of pages6
    JournalBunseki Kagaku
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 2013



    • Anionic surfactants
    • Atmospheric aerosol
    • Hand shaking
    • Methylene blue method

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Analytical Chemistry

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