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Diffusion-controlled reference material for VOC emissions testing: proof of concept



Steve Cox, Zhe Liu, John Little, Cynthia H. Reed, Steven J. Nabinger, Andrew K. Persily


Because of concerns about indoor air quality, there is growing awareness of the need to reduce the rate at which indoor materials and products emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). To meet consumer demand for low emitting products, manufacturers are increasingly submitting materials to independent laboratories for emissions testing. However, the same product tested by different laboratories can result in very different emissions profiles because of a general lack of test validation procedures. There is a need for a reference material that can be used as a known emissions source and that will have the same emission rate when tested by different laboratories under the same conditions. A reference material was created by loading toluene into a polymethyl pentene film. A fundamental emissions model was used to predict the toluene emissions profile. Measured VOC emissions profiles using small-chamber emissions tests compared reasonably well to the emissions profile predicted using the emissions model, demonstrating the feasibility of the proposed approach to create a diffusion-controlled reference material
Indoor Air


VOC, measurement, emission rate, material, chamber testing, indoor air quality


Cox, S. , Liu, Z. , Little, J. , Reed, C. , Nabinger, S. and Persily, A. (2010), Diffusion-controlled reference material for VOC emissions testing: proof of concept, Indoor Air, [online], (Accessed May 19, 2024)


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Created March 2, 2010, Updated October 12, 2021