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Publication Citation: Standard formaldehyde source for chamber testing of material emissions: model development, experimental evaluation and impacts of environmental factors

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Author(s): Wenjuan Wei; Cynthia H. Reed; Andrew K. Persily; Yinping Zhang;
Title: Standard formaldehyde source for chamber testing of material emissions: model development, experimental evaluation and impacts of environmental factors
Published: August 14, 2013
Abstract: Formaldehyde, which is recognized as a harmful indoor air pollutant for human health, is emitted from urea-formaldehyde resin in wood products. Chamber tests are used to evaluate formaldehyde emission rates from these products. However, there is no available formaldehyde standard reference emission source to assess the overall performance of chamber testing systems. In this paper, a LIFE (liquid-inner tube diffusion-film-emission) formaldehyde reference is described. The formaldehyde source consists of a polytetrafluoroethene (PTFE) tube that holds a 16 % (by volume) formaldehyde-water solution, with a thin polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) film cover. Formaldehyde emission parameters for the PDMS film (diffusion coefficient and partition coefficient) were determined experimentally, thereby enabling the prediction of the emissions in a chamber for use as a reference value. Chamber tests were conducted in a 51 L stainless steel ventilated chamber. The impacts of temperature and relative humidity on the emissions were also investigated. Results show the LIFE's chamber testing results match those predicted by a mass transfer model. As a result, this formaldehyde source may be used to generate a reference concentration in product emission testing chambers, thereby providing a powerful tool to evaluate the performance of the chamber testing systems.
Citation: Environmental Science & Technology
Volume: 47
Pages: pp. 7848 - 7854
Keywords: chamber testing, emissions; formaldehyde; indoor air quality; materials, reference material; source
Research Areas: Indoor Air Quality, Building and Fire Research
PDF version: PDF Document Click here to retrieve PDF version of paper (665KB)