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Transient Analysis of Volatile Organic Compound Concentrations for Estimating Emission Rates



Andrew K. Persily, Cynthia H. Reed, Steven J. Nabinger


While VOC emissions rates have been obtained for building materials and furnishings in chambers, field measurements are more difficult due to the existence of multiple and time-varying sources, variations in ventilation rates, impacts of adsorption and desorption, and other complexities associated with field testing. Procedures to estimate emission rates and sink parameters using transient analysis of VOC concentrations are applied in a two-story classroom/office building. The analysis is based on semi-realtime VOC concentrations determined with a portable GC/FID and simultaneous air change rate measurements using tracer gas decay. The results of the analysis yield consistent values of emission rates for building materials, but less consistent estimates of emission rates associated with occupant activities and of sink model parameters. The approach can be used in other buildings, and the results indicate that simultaneous air change rate measurements are critical to estimating VOC emission rates in the field.
Atmospheric Environment


emission rates, field testing, measurement, volatile organic compounds


Persily, A. , Reed, C. and Nabinger, S. (2003), Transient Analysis of Volatile Organic Compound Concentrations for Estimating Emission Rates, Atmospheric Environment (Accessed May 22, 2024)


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Created December 1, 2003, Updated February 19, 2017