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Sampling of volatile terpenes in indoor air

: Uhde, E.

Tham, K.W. ; National University of Singapore; International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate -ISIAQ-, Ottawa:
7th International Conference on Healthy Buildings 2003. Proceedings. Vol.1 : 7th - 11th December 2003, Department of Building, National University of Singapore
Singapore, 2003
ISBN: 981-04-9974-4
Healthy Buildings Conference <7, 2003, Singapore>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer WKI ()
terpene; sampling; VOC; desorption

Monoterpenes are substances commonly found in indoor air, they are released by wood products or certain consumer products that contain scents. Depending on the type of source the concentrations of the volatile monoterpenes (e.g. alpha-pinene, limonene) can easily exceed 1000 µg/m³. In indoor air samples these substances are usually analysed together with other volatile organic compounds by thermal desorption GC/MS or thermal desorption GC/FID, with Tenax being the preferred solid sorbent for the collection of the air samples. After noticing a certain breakthrough of limonene during field measurements, a number of experiments to study the breakthrough behaviour of several monoterpenes were carried out. Standard Tenax tubes were used for sample collection, both gas phase sampling and liquid spiking of the target compounds were used. Significant breakthrough of alpha-pinene, ß-pinene was determined for air concentrations larger than 600 µg/m³ on standard Tenax TA filled sampling tubes. As expected, the sampling volume was found to be an improtant factor for the breakthrough rate. Some experiments were carried out to assess the distribution of several substances in the tube during the sampling process; additionally improvements to sorbent tubes by adding another sorbent type were tested and the results are discussed.