A physically-based model for prediction of VOCs emissions from paint applied to an absorptive substrate

Feng Li, Jianlei Niu, Lizhi Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Paints are widely used in residential and commercial buildings. The surface areas covered by this kind of coatings are usually very large. The volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emissions from such kind of materials will affect indoor air quality decisively. A relatively simple but physically-based model was developed to simulate VOCs emissions from paints. The model parameters have distinct physical meanings and thus the model is easy to scale up. The field and laboratory emission cell (FLEC) was used to investigate the VOCs emissions from commercially available water-based emulsion paint. Totally 23 individual VOCs were detected and quantified, the most abundant VOC was 1-ethyl-3-methylbenzene. Test data were used to obtain model parameters and to validate the proposed model. Good agreements between experimental data and model predictions were evidenced. Paints applied on two different substrates aluminium and particle board were simulated. Results indicated that real substrates like particle board would act like a 'sponge', which lowers the peak concentration but prolongs the presence of VOCs from the applied paint.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1317-1325
Number of pages9
JournalBuilding and Environment
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2006


  • Building material
  • Emission
  • Field and laboratory emission cell (FLEC)
  • Indoor air quality
  • Mass transfer
  • Volatile organic compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

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