C-history method: rapid measurement of the initial emittable concentration, diffusion and partition coefficients for formaldehyde and VOCs in building materials.Environ Sci Technol. 2011 Apr 15; 45(8):3584-90.ES
The initial emittable concentration (C(m,0)), the diffusion coefficient (D(m)), and the material/air partition coefficient (K) are the three characteristic parameters influencing emissions of formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from building materials or furniture. It is necessary to determine these parameters to understand emission characteristics and how to control them. In this paper we develop a new method, the C-history method for a closed chamber, to measure these three parameters. Compared to the available methods of determining the three parameters described in the literature, our approach has the following salient features: (1) the three parameters can be simultaneously obtained; (2) it is time-saving, generally taking less than 3 days for the cases studied (the available methods tend to need 7-28 days); (3) the maximum relative standard deviations of the measured C(m,0), D(m) and K are 8.5%, 7.7%, and 9.8%, respectively, which are acceptable for engineering applications. The new method was validated by using the characteristic parameters determined in the closed chamber experiment to predict the observed emissions in a ventilated full scale chamber experiment, proving that the approach is reliable and convincing. Our new C-history method should prove useful for rapidly determining the parameters required to predict formaldehyde and VOC emissions from building materials as well as for furniture labeling.