First Advisor

Elliott Gall

Date of Publication

Summer 8-16-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering




Indoor air quality, Ozone-depleting substance mitigation, House plants -- Environmental aspects, Carpets -- Environmental aspects, Ventilation -- Environmental aspects, Latex paint -- Environmental aspects, Carbonyl compounds



Physical Description

1 online resource (ix, 132 pages)


As modern life develops, humans spend most of their time inside buildings. Understanding the effects of different building materials that exist indoors on indoor air quality is crucial to ensure comfort, health, and productivity of building occupants. Indoor air quality (IAQ) is an important field of building science that focuses on studying the existence of different compounds indoors. These compounds include: airborne particles such as dust, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as carbonyls, reactive gases such as radon, ozone and others. Ozone is a strong oxidant gas that has adverse effects on human health, and is highly reactive with building materials that exist indoors. This reaction may reduce its concentration indoors, but may produce other by-products that could be more harmful for human health than ozone itself.

In this dissertation, ozone reaction with different building materials is investigated in four studies. The first includes studying the effect of indoor carpet fiber type on ozone removal and carbonyl emissions. This study provides valuable data and knowledge about the importance of selecting carpet type and its effect on indoor environment. In the second study, different indoor plants were tested to evaluate their ability to remove ozone. The results from this study show wide variation between plants tested on ozone removal. Also, the ability of plants as ozone removal agent changes as light levels change. The third part studies ozone removal efficiency of HVAC filters previously installed in air handling units located on green and white membrane roofs of a commercial building. Detailed filter surface analysis using scanning electron microscope (SEM) was performed to understand the nature of deposits on these filters. The reason for differences in ozone removal efficiency of two filters in comparison with new filter is also discussed. The fourth study investigated ozone removal and carbonyl emissions from three different VOC content indoor latex paints. The outcomes from this research show that zero VOC latex paint has the most ozone effective removal capacity and this paint is the least carbonyl emitter.

The research presented in this dissertation adds new data, valuable knowledge, and expands the understanding of the importance of selecting indoor materials to raise indoor air quality and make the buildings' indoor environment healthier and safer.


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