Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Research

Real-Time Measurement of VOCs for Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Research


Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Research

Ambient air contains a wide range of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at trace concentration levels, e.g. parts per billion and trillion (ppb and ppt), that may have adverse health effects. In buildings, VOCs are emitted from materials such as glue from furniture and flooring, as biological metabolites from mold or insect infestations, from human activities such as cleaning and cooking, or from humans themselves. VOCs also permeate into indoor spaces from outdoor sources and underground. Since most people spend the majority of their time indoors, chronic exposure to these toxic VOCs and their chemical reaction products is a serious health concern. VOCs can also damage sensitive artwork  or biological collections in museums. This complex mixture of VOCs, the resulting chemistry, and its effect on human health is a highly active field of current research.

Real-time measurement of VOCs in indoor work or living environments can be useful to quantify human exposure to dangerous substances, understand the sources of VOCs, or track dynamic changes in chemical processes. TOFWERK’s extensive experience with online air monitoring using Chemical Ionization Time-of-flight Mass Spectrometry (CI-TOFMS) has resulted in instrumentation capable of resolving and simultaneously monitoring large numbers of VOCs at sub ppb levels with extremely high time resolution.


  • Real-Time VOC Analysis for Indoor Air Quality Research Using the  Vocus PTR-TOF 

    • Highest sensitivity available with sub-ppt Limits of Detection
    • High mass resolving power enables identification of individual compounds within complex mixtures
    • Real-time and fast data output capturing rapid changes in VOC concentrations
    • Full spectrum acquisition allows measurements of wide range of compounds simultaneously

    What is PTR-MS?

    Mass spectrum of indoor air measured by the Vocus CI-TOFMS in NH4+mode. Series of siloxanes commonly present in an industrial environment are highlighted in blue.

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