Date of Award

Spring 5-5-2009

Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis




Dangerous volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, can accumulate as indoor air pollution within homes causing health problems in the habitants. In order to determine the concentration of VOCs in such areas a field-deployable sampler is necessary. The focus of this work has been to develop an inexpensive, reusable, sensitive fielddeployable passive sampler for monitoring VOCs in indoor air. We have devised a sampler that uses polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), which is a common inexpensive, nonpolar adsorbent. The sampler is comprised of an aluminum bottle coated with the PDMS. In operation, the coated portion is exposed to the air to be sampled. The bottle is then screwed into the top portion which keeps the material sealed-in. The sample from the aluminum bottle is then transferred to the GC for analysis using a Gas Phase Sampling Device (GSPID). In this work, sample equilibration time (in the bottle), GSPID gas flow rate and the sample loop filling timeswere optimized. Solutions containing toluene, ethylbenzene, and o-xylene were used as representatives for common household VOCs. Butanone was used as an internal standard in order to control reproducibility.

Included in

Chemistry Commons