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Characterizing Gaseous Air Cleaner Performance in the Field



Cynthia H. Reed, Steven J. Emmerich, Steven J. Nabinger


As part of an ongoing effort to better understand the performance of indoor air cleaners in buildings, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has completed a series of gaseous air cleaner field tests and model simulations. This paper focuses on experiments to measure the removal of decane with two different gaseous air cleaners in a single-zone test house. Due to the lack of standardized gaseous air cleaner field testing protocols, a field test method was developed using semi-real-time concentration measurements and mass balance analysis. A total of 24 experiments were completed with directly measured single-pass removal efficiencies ranging from 24 % to 56 % and removal efficiencies based on a transient whole building mass balance ranging from 30 % to 44 %. Experimental results revealed important factors affecting field performance such as air cleaner contaminant loading and room air mixing for the portable air cleaner. An additional six tests were conducted to evaluate the predictive capability of the indoor air quality model CONTAM.
Building and Environment


field study, gaseous air cleaners, indoor air, model evaluation, VOC transport


Reed, C. , Emmerich, S. and Nabinger, S. (2006), Characterizing Gaseous Air Cleaner Performance in the Field, Building and Environment, [online], (Accessed July 20, 2024)


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Created March 20, 2006, Updated February 19, 2017