Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Architecture, Civil Engineering, Surveying
The interaction of indoor air pollutants with interior surfaces (i.e., sinks) is a well known, but poorly understood, phenomenon. Studies have shown that re-emissions of adsorbed organic vapours can contribute to elevated concentrations of organics in indoor environments. Research is being conducted in small environmental test chambers to develop data for predicting sink behaviour. This paper reports on the development of sink models based on fundamental mass transfer theory. The results of experiments conducted to determine the magnitude and rate of adsorption and desorption of vapour phase organic compounds for several materials are presented. Five materials were evaluated: carpet, painted wallboard, ceiling tile, window glass, and upholstery. Two organic compounds were tested with each material: tetrachloroethylene (a common cleaning solvent) and ethylbenzene (a common constituent of petroleum-based solvents widely used in consumer products). The results of the experimental work are presented showing the relevant sink effect parameters for each material tested and comparing the sorptive behaviour of the two organic compounds evaluated. An indoor air quality (IAQ) model was modified to incorporate adsorption and desorption sink rates. The model was used to predict the temporal history of the concentration of total vapour phase organics in a test house after application of a wood finishing product. The predicted results are presented and compared to measured values. Suggestions for further research on indoor sinks are presented.
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