How to measure VOC’s in Indoor Air? 1.

0 Background:

VOCs are present in ambient air due to anthropogenic and natural sources and are in the range of 3 ppb – 40 ppm. VOCs are present in Indoor Air in much larger concentrations due to the outside air being brought inside for ventilation and due to release of VOC’s by building material. Air tight or energy tight buildings are expected to have higher VOC concentrations than ambient air concentration of VOCs. 2.0 Measurement needs:

What cannot be measured cannot be controlled. VOC’s need to be controlled due to the adverse health effects of certain VOCs. The presence of TVOCs (Total VOCs) is an indicator of the levels of individual VOCs. However, this may not be true. In some cases, the measured TVOC may have an unusually high content of any one VOC, which may be above the acceptable level. Thus concentration of TVOC at acceptable levels, but which are above acceptable levels of any one VOC, would have to be verified by qualitative and quantitative analysis of identifying the composition of TVOC. 3.0 3.1 VOC measurement methods & their purpose: EPA methods:

The various EPA methods to measure the VOC concentration are mentioned below: Method TO-14, Method 18, Method 21, Method 25 and 25A. Out of these, Method 21: Determination of VOC leaks is mentioned below since this is the method used for fugitive emissions: This method is applicable for the determination of VOC leaks from process equipment. These sources include, but are not limited to valves, flanges and other connections, pumps and compressors, pressure relief devices, process drains, open-ended valves, pump and compressor seal system degassing vents, accumulator vessel vents, agitator seals, and access door seals. Detector types that may meet this requirement include, but are not limited to, catalytic oxidation, flame ionization, infrared absorption, and photoionisation. 3.2 Other methods:

The PID detectors are more sensitive and can provide quantitative measurements upto ppb level of detection.0 4.3 FTIR: 5.2 5.0 Conclusion: While the real-time measurements can be done with the PID and the FTIR sensors. the detection is limited to the VOC’s whose signatures are catalogued by the instrument.ASTM standard guide. the GC .2.1 Celiox GC-MS: 5.2 FTIR: Fourier Transformed Infra-Red Detector: Absorbance of IR energy for excitation of the molecular bond and release of this energy while being restored to the original state. 1998)) have been published for such tests. the PID can be used to detect real time TVOC.0 GC – MS: Gas Chromatography – Mass Spectrometry?: Instrumentation: Makes and Cost: 5. .1 PID: 5.3 5.1. However.1 Grey Wolf 5.1. The cost of FTIR being high. 6. 1992) and a European preliminary standard (ENV 13419 part 13 (CEN. FTIR detectors provide the covalent bonded Organic compound along with its functional group and can provide qualitative as well as quantitative measurements. 4. these are cumulative for all the VOC’s and is the TVOC measurement. However.2 Uniphos 5.1 Detection Methods and their advantages and disadvantages: PID: Photo Ionization Detector: Ionisation Potential (IP) 4. The measured TVOC can be used as a surrogate to relate concentration of VOC.3 The attached table provides the comparative of the PID and FTIR instrumentation. 4. a guideline from the Commission of the European Communities (CEC.MS can analyse the samples taken in the field.1.

FTIR is a useful real time device for measurements of VOC concentration since the quantity of the identified VOC components of indoor air can be quantified. .However.