A Review and a Limited Comparison of Methods for Measuring Total Volatile Organic Compounds in Indoor Air

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A number of methods attempt to measure the combined concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in indoor air as total VOCs (TVOC). This paper reviews TVOC methods recently presently in the literature and in an international conference on indoor air quality for the purposes of identifying common practices and of assessing the impacts that choices of sample collection media and analytical methods and instrumentation can have on TVOC results. The paper also presents the results of laboratory and field comparisons of three TVOC methods. These are a flame-ionization-detector (FID) method, a gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) method, and a method employing ... continued below

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Hodgson, A.T. April 1, 1995.

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A number of methods attempt to measure the combined concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in indoor air as total VOCs (TVOC). This paper reviews TVOC methods recently presently in the literature and in an international conference on indoor air quality for the purposes of identifying common practices and of assessing the impacts that choices of sample collection media and analytical methods and instrumentation can have on TVOC results. The paper also presents the results of laboratory and field comparisons of three TVOC methods. These are a flame-ionization-detector (FID) method, a gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) method, and a method employing a photoacoustic infra-red (IR) gas monitor. The laboratory experiments were conducted with eight different mixtures of VOCs. the FID method demonstrated an average accuracy of 93 {+-} 18% when the measured values were calculated as concentrations of carbon. The FID and GC/MS methods demonstrated average accuracies of 75 {+-} 22 and 77 {+-} 37%, respectively, when the measured hydrocarbon-equivalent values were compared to the expected mass concentrations of the mixtures. The higher uncertainty for the FID was largely due to the low mass response of 27% for chlorinated compounds. The response of the IR gas monitor varied between 6 and 560% for different classes of compounds. Air samples from ten buildings were analyzed by both the FID and GC/MS methods. The results were highly correlated and similar, with the GC/MS values approximately 20% higher on average.

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  • Journal Name: Indoor Air-International Journal of Indoor Air Quality and Climate; Journal Volume: 5; Journal Issue: 4; Related Information: Journal Publication Date: 12/1/1995

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  • Report No.: LBL-32904
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1009511
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc829546

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • April 1, 1995

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  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • July 5, 2016, 1:43 p.m.

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Hodgson, A.T. A Review and a Limited Comparison of Methods for Measuring Total Volatile Organic Compounds in Indoor Air, article, April 1, 1995; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc829546/: accessed September 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.