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Pumped sampling of in-vehicle air

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.

This is carried out in a three-stage test in accordance with ISO 12219-1 (Specification and method for the determination of volatile organic compounds in car interiors) using pumped sampling of cabin air onto sorbent-packed TD tubes, with analysis of the tubes by GC–MS in the usual manner. The three stages are:

  • Sampling of VOCs and carbonyl compounds under simulated ambient conditions (‘ambient mode’) at 23°C, with no air exchange.
  • Measurement of formaldehyde at elevated temperatures (‘parking mode’).
  • Sampling of VOCs and carbonyl compounds after simulation of the vehicle being parked in the sun, i.e. at elevated temperatures (‘driving mode’).

These tests allow car manufacturers to obtain a full understanding of the overall VOC profile that might be experienced by an occupant of the vehicle.

Further information

  • For discussion of the application of thermal desorption to the monitoring of vehicle cabin air, see Application Notes 028 and 033.
  • 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.

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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