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Environmental Science & Technology Letters

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Indoor air quality, Air purifier -- Clean air delivery rate


Emissions from volatile chemical products (VCPs) have been identified as contributors to air quality degradation in urban areas. Limonene can be a tracer compound for VCPs containing fragrances in densely populated regions, but limonene is also emitted from conifers that are planted in urban areas. This creates challenges for using limonene to estimate VCP emissions. In this study, the −/+ enantiomeric ratios of limonene from VCP and conifer emission sources were quantified to evaluate if this measurement could be used to aid in source apportionment and emission inventory development. Samples were analyzed using a gas chromatograph equipped with a chiral column and mass spectrometry. The results demonstrate that limonene exhibits distinct enantiomeric ratios when sourced from VCPs versus conifers. (+)-Limonene was dominant in VCP sources (>97%), which was not universally true for conifer sources. The results were compared to those of air samples collected outside at two locations and indoors. The levels of (−)-limonene in outdoor air in Irvine and Portland and in indoor air were 50%, 22%, and 4%, respectively. This suggests outdoor limonene had both VCP and plant emission sources while indoor air was dominated by VCP sources. This study demonstrates the potential utility of enantiomeric analysis for improving VCP emission estimates in urban areas.


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