Emmanuel A Essah and Chris H Sanders
Bibliographic info:
The International Journal of Ventilation, Vol. 9 N°2, September 2010

Tracer gas techniques have been the most appropriate experimental method of determining airflows and ventilation rates in houses. However, current trends to reduce greenhouse gas effects have prompted the need for alternative techniques, such as passive sampling. In this research passive sampling techniques have been used to demonstrate the potential to fulfil these requirements by using solutions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and solid phase microextraction (SPME) fibres. These passive sampling techniques have been calibrated against tracer gas decay techniques and measurements from a standard orifice plate. Two constant sources of volatile organic compounds were diffused into two sections of a humidity chamber and sampled using SPME fibres. From a total of four SPME fibres (two in each section), reproducible results were obtained. Emission rates and air movement from one section to the other were predicted using developed algorithms. Comparison of the SPME fibre technique with that of the tracer gas technique and measurements from an orifice plate showed similar results with good precision and accuracy. With these fibres, infiltration rates can be measured over grab samples in a time weighted averaged period lasting from 10 minutes up to several days.