Control of volatile organic compounds indoors-Development of an integrated mass-transfer-based model and its application

Feng Li, Jianlei Niu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Building envelopes are usually comprised of several different layers of building materials, which may alternatively act as VOC sources or sinks depending on their emission and sorption potentials and the indoor environmental conditions as well. In this research, a whole room IAQ model consisting of multi-phase emission/sorption model for wall materials and room volume mass balance model catering for practical ventilation schemes was developed. The interactions of VOC and building materials composing different building components can be modeled based on fundamental mass transfer theories. The effects of various construction materials and ventilation strategies on the emission characteristics were investigated. Results show that measures like pre-occupancy flush-out, lead-time ventilation, etc. have substantial impacts on indoor VOC concentration and the model can successfully handle different building scenarios. Although more rigorous validation, in particular more experimental verification, is needed, the proposed model has proven to be valuable in handling different building scenarios. It is useful in analyzing the levels of contaminant buildup that would occur during no ventilation period for intermittent ventilation situations and in determining the amount of outdoor air and the lead-time period required to flush out the contaminants prior to occupancy. It is likely to be a simple routine tool for building owners, designers and operators to attain acceptable indoor VOC concentration level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2344-2354
Number of pages11
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2007


  • Building material
  • Diffusion
  • Emission
  • Indoor air quality
  • Sorption
  • Ventilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Atmospheric Science


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