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Oxidation of terpenes in indoor environments : A study of influencing factors

by Pommer, Linda

Abstract (Summary)
In this thesis the oxidation of monoterpenes by O3 and NO2 and factors that influenced the oxidation were studied. In the environment both ozone (O3) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are present as oxidising gases, which causes sampling artefacts when using Tenax TA as an adsorbent to sample organic compounds in the air. A scrubber was developed to remove O3 and NO2 prior to the sampling tube, and artefacts during sampling were minimised when using the scrubber. The main organic compounds sampled in this thesis were two monoterpenes, alfa-pinene and delta-3-carene, due to their presence in both indoor and outdoor air. The recovery of the monoterpenes through the scrubber varied between 75-97% at relative humidities of 15-75%.The reactions of alfa-pinene and delta-3-carene with O 3, NO2 and nitric oxide (NO) at different relative humidities (RHs) and reaction times were studied in a dark reaction chamber. The experiments were planned and performed according to an experimental design were the factors influencing the reaction (O3, NO2, NO, RH and reaction times) were varied between high and low levels. In the experiments up to 13% of the monoterpenes reacted when O3, NO2, and reaction time were at high levels, and NO, and RH were at low levels. In the evaluation eight and seven factors (including both single and interaction factors) were found to influence the amount of alfa-pinene and delta-3-carene reacted, respectively. The three most influencing factors for both of the monoterpenes were the O 3 level, the reaction time, and the RH. Increased O3 level and reaction time increased the amount of monoterpene reacted, and increased RH decreased the amount reacted.A theoretical model of the reactions occurring in the reaction chamber was created. The amount of monoterpene reacted at different initial settings of O3, NO2, and NO were calculated, as well as the influence of different reaction pathways, and the concentrations of O3 and NO2, and NO at specific reaction times. The results of the theoretical model were that the reactivity of the gas mixture towards alfa-pinene and delta-3-carene was underestimated. But, the calculated concentrations of O3, NO2, and NO in the theoretical model were found to correspond to a high degree with experimental results performed under similar conditions. The possible associations between organic compounds in indoor air, building variables and the presence of sick building syndrome were studied using principal component analysis. The most complex model was able to separate 71% of the “sick” buildings from the “healthy” buildings. The most important variables that separated the “sick” buildings from the “healthy” buildings were a more frequent occurrence or a higher concentration of compounds with shorter retention times in the “sick” buildings.The outcome of this thesis could be summarised as follows;----
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Umeå universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:NATURAL SCIENCES; Chemistry; Environmental chemistry; Environmental chemistry; Monoterpene; Ozone (O3); Nitrogen dioxide (NO2); Nitrogen oxide (NO); Relative humidity (RH); Modelling; Scrubber; Experimental design; Interaction; Volatile organic compounds (VOC); Sick buildings syndrome (SBS); Principal component analysis (PCA); Indoor air; Ventilation; Tenax TA; Sodium sulphite; Miljökemi; Analytical Chemistry; analytisk kemi

ISBN:91-7305-313-9

Date of Publication:01/01/2003

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