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Determination of representative emission profiles of car trim

To determine emission profiles that are representative of real-life situations (including ‘worst-case’ scenarios if needed), three main techniques can be used:

‘Small chambers’

Formaldehyde monitoring

Formaldehyde is too reactive to monitor by TD–GC–MS, and must instead be sampled onto DNPH cartridges, which generate a stable derivative. These cartridges are then analysed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). More on formaldehyde monitoring.

Relevant methods are:

Bag sampling

The relevant method is:


Relevant methods are:

Small-chamber methods are typically used for product certification, but the tests can be time-consuming and can be expensive. Bag sampling is particularly popular in Asia, and although quicker than small-chamber certification methods, is compromised by the tendency of SVOCs to ‘stick’ to the inside of the bag (‘wall effects’).

Microchambers help solve these issues, by handling a wider analyte range than bag sampling while being small enough to allow rapid sampling. In addition, because they use the same extraction technique as small chambers, emissions data from rapid microchamber screening can be correlated with that from small chambers, allowing users to predict the outcome of longer-term certification tests. As a result, microchambers are now recognised as an ideal method for emissions screening and quality control.

Further information

  • For an example of the use of direct desorption to detect VOCs and SVOCs from furnishings and car trim, see Application Notes 040 and 059.

  • For more information on the use of small chambers, Tedlar® or Mylar® bags, and microchambers, see Application Notes 067, 069, 073 and 074.

  • For additional examples of the use of Markes’ Micro-Chamber/Thermal Extractor, see Application Notes 068, 093 and 103.

  • For a more in-depth discussion of standard methods relevant to in-vehicle air, see: M. Wensing, Standard test methods for the determination of VOCs and SVOCs in automobile interiors, in: Organic Indoor Air Pollutants, ed. T. Salthammer and E. Uhde, Wiley-VCH, 2009, pp. 147–161.

  • For a description of the Micro-Chamber/Thermal Extractor, its application (with UNITY-ULTRA) to assess emissions from plastic pellets, wall coverings and polyurethane foams, and correlation with small-chamber methods, see: T. Schripp et al., A microscale device for measuring emissions from materials for indoor use, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 2007, 387: 1907–1919.

The following pages may also be of interest:

Markes International Ltd
Gwaun Elai Medi-Science Campus
Tel: +44 (0)1443 230935
Markes International GmbH
Bieberer Straße 1-7
63065 Offenbach am Main
Tel: +49 (0)69 6681089-10
USA (West)
Markes International, Inc.
2355 Gold Meadow Way
Gold River, Sacramento
California 95670
Tel: +1 866-483-5684 (toll-free)
Markes Instruments (Shanghai) Co., Ltd
Unit 1002, Building 1
No.418, Guilin Road
Shanghai 200233
P.R. China
Tel: +86 21 5465 1216
Part of Schauenburg International

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