Volatile organic compound emissions from solvent- and water-borne coatings – compositional differences and tracer compound identifications

Stockwell, Chelsea E.; Coggon, Matthew M.; Gkatzelis, Georgios I.; Ortega, John; McDonald, Brian C.; Peischl, Jeff; Aikin, Kenneth; Gilman, Jessica B.; Trainer, Michael; Warneke, Carsten

The emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from volatile chemical products (VCPs) – specifically personal care products, cleaning agents, coatings, adhesives, and pesticides – are emerging as the largest source of petroleum-derived organic carbon in US cities. Previous work has shown that the ambient concentration of markers for most VCP categories correlates strongly with population density, except for VOCs predominantly originating from solvent- and water-borne coatings (e.g., parachlorobenzotrifluoride (PCBTF) and Texanol®, respectively). Instead, these enhancements were dominated by distinct emission events likely driven by industrial usage patterns, such as construction activity. In this work, the headspace of a variety of coating products was analyzed using a proton-transfer-reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometer (PTR-ToF-MS) and a gas chromatography (GC) preseparation front end to identify composition differences for various coating types (e.g., paints, primers, sealers, and stains). Evaporation experiments of several products showed high initial VOC emission rates, and for the length of these experiments, the majority of the VOC mass was emitted during the first few hours following application. The percentage of mass emitted as measured VOCs (inline-formula<1 % to 83 %) mirrored the VOC content reported by the manufacturer (inline-formula<5 to 550 g Linline-formula−1). Ambient and laboratory measurements, usage trends, and ingredients compiled from architectural coatings surveys show that both PCBTF and Texanol account for inline-formula∼10 % of the total VOC ingredient sales and, therefore, can be useful tracers for solvent- and water-borne coatings.

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Stockwell, Chelsea E. / Coggon, Matthew M. / Gkatzelis, Georgios I. / et al: Volatile organic compound emissions from solvent- and water-borne coatings – compositional differences and tracer compound identifications. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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