Ozone reaction with interior building materials: Influence of diurnal ozone variation, temperature and humidity

Donghyun Rim, Elliott T. Gall, Randy L. Maddalena, William W. Nazaroff

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51 Scopus citations


Elevated tropospheric ozone concentrations are associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Indoor ozone chemistry affects human exposure to ozone and reaction products that also may adversely affect health and comfort. Reactive uptake of ozone has been characterized for many building materials; however, scant information is available on how diurnal variation of ambient ozone influences ozone reaction with indoor surfaces. The primary objective of this study is to investigate ozone-surface reactions in response to a diurnally varying ozone exposure for three common building materials: ceiling tile, painted drywall, and carpet tile. A secondary objective is to examine the effects of air temperature and humidity. A third goal is to explore how conditioning of materials in an occupied office building might influence subsequent ozone-surface reactions. Experiments were performed at bench-scale with inlet ozone concentrations varied to simulate daytime (ozone elevated) and nighttime (ozone-free in these experiments) periods. To simulate office conditions, experiments were conducted at two temperatures (22 °C and 28 °C) and three relative humidity values (25%, 50%, 75%). Effects of indoor surface exposures were examined by placing material samples in an occupied office and repeating bench-scale characterization after exposure periods of 1 and 2 months. Deposition velocities were observed to be highest during the initial hour of ozone exposure with slow decrease in the subsequent hours of simulated daytime conditions. Daily-average ozone reaction probabilities for fresh materials are in the respective ranges of (1.7-2.7) × 10-5, (2.8-4.7) × 10-5, and (3.0-4.5) × 10-5 for ceiling tile, painted drywall, and carpet tile. The reaction probability decreases by 7%-47% across the three test materials after two 8-h periods of ozone exposure. Measurements with the samples from an occupied office reveal that deposition velocity can decrease or increase with time. Influence of temperature and humidity on ozone-surface reactivity was not strong.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-23
Number of pages9
JournalAtmospheric Environment
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science
  • Atmospheric Science


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