Air quality in homes: investigating the chemistry of indoor air pollutants through the development of a model tailored with field measurements

Shannan Maisey

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

[Truncated abstract] The quality of the air indoors is important in the urban world, where people spend as much as 90% of the day inside. It is likely that near to two-thirds of that time is in the home. The literature on indoor air quality (IAQ) is extensive and yet there is still much to learn about reactive chemistry and the production of secondary pollutants. The field of whole system reactive indoor chemistry is currently lacking, and there is evidence that IAQ can be significantly and immediately influenced by our actions and behaviour but this is not greatly understood (Chapter 1). This work provides an extended examination of the chemistry of indoor air in this context. The project involved developing a new methodology for sampling very low concentrations of an extended range of relevant indoor gas-phase volatile organic compounds (VOC). Calibrations were successful for 39 of the extended indoor VOC suite (Chapter 2). Using this method, field studies to collect observational data from 70 homes across two seasons were conducted. They provided the most comprehensive base-line assessment of indoor VOC in West Australian residences to date. Median individual VOC concentrations ranged from 0.06 μg/m3 for dibutyl-ether to 26.6 μg/m3 for cis/trans 2-butene. The seasonal variations in Perth were found to be significant, and different to those recently reported in Melbourne homes, with inferences made due to differences in the climate and the occupant behaviours (Chapter 3). The Southern Hemisphere Indoor Air Chemistry (SHIAC) model (a highly detailed chemical box model for the investigation of reactive indoor air chemistry for suburban residences) has been developed utilising data from the sampling campaigns to constrain the model for these environs.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2012

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