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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  22 Oct 2020

22 Oct 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

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

Chelsea E. Stockwell1,2, Matthew M. Coggon1,2, Georgios I. Gkatzelis1,2,a, John Ortega1,2, Brian C. McDonald1, Jeff Peischl1,2, Kenneth Aikin1,2, Jessica B. Gilman1, Michael Trainer1, and Carsten Warneke1,2 Chelsea E. Stockwell et al.
  • 1NOAA, Chemical Sciences Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado 80305, United States
  • 2Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309, United States
  • anow at: Institute of Energy and Climate Research, IEK-8: Troposphere, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Jülich, Germany

Abstract. 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 correlate 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) pre-separation 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 (< 1 to 83 %) mirrored the VOC content reported by the manufacturer (< 5 to 550 g L−1). Ambient and laboratory measurements, usage trends, and ingredients compiled from architectural coatings surveys show both PCBTF and Texanol account for ~10 % of the total VOC ingredient sales and therefore can be useful tracers for solvent- and water-borne coatings.

Chelsea E. Stockwell et al.

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Chelsea E. Stockwell et al.

Chelsea E. Stockwell et al.


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Latest update: 24 Nov 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Volatile chemical products are emerging as a large source of petrochemical organics in urban environments. Here we identify markers for the coatings category by linking ambient observations to laboratory measurements investigating volatile organic compound (VOC) composition and quantifying key VOC emissions via controlled evaporation experiments. Ingredients and sales surveys are used to confirm the prevalence and usage trends to support the assignment of water and solvent-borne coating tracers.
Volatile chemical products are emerging as a large source of petrochemical organics in urban...