Clean-Air Technology

Active, dynamic sampling of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) indoors

On completion of the project, a marketable, active sampling device for indoor room air is available. This new type of approach enables dynamic sampling with simultaneous collection of important parameters like room temperature, air pressure, relative air humidity and CO2-level in the room air. The device allows for the use of adsorber modules developed in the project, as well as ones available commercially. 



For classifying hazards of indoor pollutants for people, corresponding examinations should be conducted. It can be distinguished between active and passive sampling methods. At the moment, sampling of air-transported pollutants (VOCs) is generally conducted through passive diffusion sampling.  While these are only used for gases and vapours, active sampling can be used for all hazardous materials (gases, vapours, dust, fog, smoke). Therefore, the objective of the research project was to develop an active sampling device for VOCs in interiors, and to examine its operational approach in form of laboratory and function models. For this purpose, an air sampling device was developed that meets the requirements of a large concentration range of air pollutants depending on the sampling location, the different analysis procedures, as well as the solvent and thermal desorption.



  • By means of sensors, the developed device collects important room-climate parameters like temperature, air pressure, relative air humidity, and CO2-concentration in ambient air.
  • Along with the self-developed adsorbent modules that enable a problem-specific adaptation of adsorbents, commercially available sampling tubes can also be used.
  • The conducted examinations show again the previously demonstrated success of the XAD-resins used as adsorbents. However, the high blank values and the related cleaning costs, as well as the electrostatic charging has drastically limited the practical application of XAD-resins during the course of conditioning.
  • After converting to Tenax TA as adsorbents, sampling and analysis could be successfully extended to lower concentrations allowing the reproduction of the results. Using thermal desorption methods, absolute doping quantities were up to 1000 times lower than that of the solvent desorption.

More Project Information

Project title: Entwicklung eines Labor- und Funktionsmusters eines aktiven Raumluftprobenaufnahmegerätes für VOC´s

Project number: 07INR32/1

Reference number: Text

Project period: 1999 - 2002

Project region: Germany (Thuringia)

Project contact:

Herr Dr.-Ing. Metze

+49 (0)3606 / 671-400

+49 (0)3606 / 671-200

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Source: German National Library of Science and Technology Hannover (TIB)