Measuring emission rates of organic compounds from building material

An increased VOC emission from coatings (paints, varnishes, glue, resins) allows faster curing of the coating and stabilization of the emissions resulting in less residual VOC that can be emitted from the material in the future. Hence, it is desirable to emit the majority of the VOCs quickly so that once the building is in use negligible amount of VOC will be emitted.

The objective of this research in this phase is to characterize the change in emissions of VOCs from building materials with time and temperature and the impact of such change on indoor air quality, during the construction (manufacturing) process and after occupancy. Field and lab emission cell (FLEC) will be used to directly measure the emission of VOCs from building materials. FLEC consists of a flux chamber that uses a sorption tube to capture VOCs directly degassed from building materials; the sorption tube can then be analyzed in the lab with GC-MS to determine the amount of total and speciated VOC collected during the sampling time.

The student will complete a literature review regarding emissions form building materials and methods to characterize these emissions, prepare experimental setup and complete experiments on characterizing emissions from building materials, and find computer and/or mathematical models that can be applied to characterize emissions from building materials and its impact on indoor air quality.

Preet Sandhu
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dr. Zaher Hashisho