IAQ 2003, Presentation 6:

Emission of Small Organic Volatiles From Wooden Construction Materials in a Small Test Chamber

Maarten van Bommel, Suzanne Brugman and Henk van Keulen

Instituut Collectie Nederland / Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage

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Wooden construction materials, used in storage and exhibitions, are known sources for low molecular organic volatiles. The amount of organic volatiles depends, among others, on the type of wood. Especially particleboard and other composites such as MDF, are known to emit formic acid, acetic acid and formaldehyde, but other types of wood emit these organic compounds as well.

In the last decades, much effort has been put in determining the effects of these emissions on objects of culture and art, e.g. by the well-known "Oddy test". Furthermore, methods to reduce emission have been investigated. Appropriate lacquers, absorption materials or sealing the wood with impermeable films can reduce the emission significantly. Research at ICN is focussed on the measurement of emission of formic acid, acetic acid and formaldehyde from wooden construction materials. The final goal of this research is to make a classification of different type of woods and, even more important, to investigate the effect and durability of mitigation methods.

This presentation is the continuation of the work presented during the last IAQ meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark*. The optimised SPME procedure will be discussed. This procedure includes the measurement of the gases mentioned above in a single run. Formaldehyde has to be derivatized prior to analysis. The derivatization is performed directly on the fibre. Several aspects, such as linearity, reproducibility, time of analysis and the effect of concentration derivatizing agent on the response of formaldehyde as well as organic acids will be discussed. Detection limits were achieved for all three gases, which allows us to measure the emission of construction materials. In addition, a protocol is developed to measure these construction materials in a small climate chamber. The exchange rate of a showcase has effect on the concentration gas, gas will be diluted but the emission rate of the construction materials will increase at a higher flow rate. The airflow through this chamber can be controlled, simulating different exchange rates. Furthermore, other parameters, which can affect the emission rate and sample uptake, will be discussed.

* Maarten van Bommel, Bart van Elst, and Francien Broekens: "Emission of organic acids from wooden construction materials in a small test chamber; preliminary results of optimisation of the Solid Phase Micro Extraction Technique". IAP Copenhagen 2001

Author to whom correspondence may be addressed:

Maarten van Bommel
Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage
P.O. Box 76709
1070 KA, Amsterdam
The Netherlands

E-mail: Maarten.van.Bommel@icn.nl

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