High Sensitivity Monitoring Device for Onboard Measurement of Dimethyl Sulfide and Dimethylsulfoniopropionate in Seawater and an Oceanic Atmosphere. Academic Article uri icon


  • An automated device has been developed to measure aqueous dimethyl sulfide (DMSaq), its precursor dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), and atmospheric gaseous dimethyl sulfide (DMSg). In addition to having a role in the oceanic atmosphere, DMS and DMSP have recently gained substantial interest within the biosciences and are suspected as chemoattractants for predators searching for prey. To provide the spatial resolution relevant for biogeochemical functions, fast and on-site analysis of these compounds is an important technique. The system described measures the dimethyl sulfur compounds by sequential vaporization of DMSaq and DMSP to their gas phase, which is then analyzed by chemiluminescence detection (SVG-CL). The device has five analysis modes (full, DMS, water, gas, and DMSP mode) that can be selected by the user depending on the required analyte or desired sampling rate. Seawater analyses were performed by the developed SVG-CL system and, simultaneously, by an ion molecule reaction-mass spectrometer and a gas chromatograph-flame photometric detector to verify quantitative analysis results. Results obtained by the new method/device agreed well with those by the other methods. Detection limits of the SVG-CL system are 0.02 ppbv and 0.04 nM for DMSg and DMSaq/DMSP, respectively, which are much better than those of the mass spectrometer. The SVG-CL system can be easily installed and operated on a boat. Spatial variability in DMS and DMSP off the coast of Japan were obtained, showing significant changes in the concentrations of the components at the brackish/saline water interface and at the channel between the closed and open seas.

publication date

  • August 20, 2019