The presence of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) in the indoor air may be a contributory cause of complaints about irritation of mucous membranes in eyes, nose and throat, difficulty in breathing, frequent airway inflammation, skin irritation, fatigue, concentration difficulty, dizziness and headache. The purpose of this Ph.D. work was to study the sorption properties of building products with reference to the selection of building products for construction and renovation of buildings.In order to provide the necessary experimental data, a main purpose of the work was to study the influence on sorption equilibrium and kinetics of temperature, relative humidity, VOC concentrations and air velocity past the surface of the building product. Four common building materials were carefully selected for the sorption/desorption experiments: Painted gypsum board, lacquered beechwood parquet, PVC flooring and nylon carpeting with latex backing.Building product samples were placed in Climpaq chambers and in a full scale chamber, where they during the sorption/desorption experiments were exposed at different conditions to a humid air stream containing 17 common indoor VOCs . Chemical analyses and sensory evaluations were carried out using gas chromatography/flame ionisation detection and a naive panel of 32-36 persons, respectively. Individual and total VOC concentrations were representative of indoor air. Relative humidity was 45-70%.The VOCs selected for experiments were: 1,1,1-trichloroethane, 2-pentanone, toluene, tetrachloroethene, n-octane, hexanal, n-pentanol, o-xylene, 2-heptanone, 2-butoxyethanol, octanal, 1,4-dichlorobenzene, limonene, 2-ethylhexan-1-ol, 1,2-propanediol, n-decane and decanal. The work was performed in collaboration with the Danish Building Research Institute.Contents: Danish summary (6 pages). Detailed summary in English (15 pages). Background (23 pages). Objective and hypotheses (2 pages). Methods and materials (20 pages). Results (26 pages). Discussion (12 pages). Conclusion (3 pages). References (14 pages). Appendices (95 pages).
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Technical University of Denmark, Department of Chemical Engineering, 1999