Indoor air pollutant concentrations can be influenced by how rapidly species are transported to and from surfaces. Consequently, a greater understanding of indoor transport phenomena to surfaces improves estimates of human exposure to indoor air pollutants. Here, we introduce two methods of rapidly and directly measuring species fluxes at indoor surfaces, allowing us to evaluate the transport-limited deposition velocity, vt (a mass-transfer coefficient). The deposition velocity sensor (DeVS) method employs a small microbalance coated with a pure hydrocarbon, preferably octadecane. We quantify flux (or evaporation rate) of the hydrocarbon into a room by observing the rate of mass loss on the microbalance. The transport-limited deposition velocity, vt, octadecane, is then obtained by combining the flux with the vapor pressure of the hydrocarbon. Simultaneously, vt, ozone is quantified using the depostion velocity of ozone (DeVO) method, which acts as a standard to caliberate ans evaluate DeVS. Specifically, DeVO evaluates ozone transport to surfaces by quantifying the conversion by ozone of nitrate on a glass fiber filter. Simultaneous laboratory chamber experiments demonstrates that vt for octadecane and ozone are strongly correlated, with the values for ozone ~1.5 times greater than that for octadecane. In an office experiments, the DeVS method responds within minutes to step changes in conditions such as occupancy, activities and ventilation. At present, the results are in order-of-magnitude agreement with predicted indoor mass-transfer coefficients.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering


Missouri State University

Keywords and Phrases

Deposition Velocity; Indoor air; Microbalance; Ozone; Pollutant transport

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2003 Elsevier Ltd., All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2003