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Project at a Glance

Title: Development of an improved VOC analysis method for architectural coatings. Final report.

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Dane R. Jones

Contractor: California Polytechnic University

Contract Number: 04-329

Research Program Area: Emissions Monitoring & Control

Topic Areas: Area Sources, Stationary Sources


The contractor analyzed the methods currently available to test the volatile organic compound (VOC) content of coatings. The contractor specifically examined the limitations and sources of error in United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) Method 24 (an indirect method) and compared them to those for ASTM Method D6886 (a direct method). The contractor determined the expected uncertainties from published precision values for most coating types identified in the 2001 ARB Architectural Coatings Survey. The contractor installed and tested a new gas chromatography/flame ionization detection/mass spectral (GC/FID/MS) analysis system with static headspace analyzer to be used in methods development and VOC analysis of coatings.

The contractor collected samples of 67 coatings, including 11 two-component (2K) coatings, representing the categories listed in the 2001 ARB Architectural Coatings Survey. These samples were analyzed using Method 24 and direct analysis methods developed for this project based on ASTM D6886. The feasibility of using static headspace analysis was investigated. Specifically, new methods were developed for analysis of 2K coatings (both waterborne and solventborne), analysis of exempt solvents and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), analysis of VOCs extracted from coatings, and of 2K coatings containing > 90% solids. An extensive revision and expansion of ASTM D6886 was also undertaken. Specific VOC method analysis guidelines were developed for each class of coatings.

Selected coatings were chosen for inclusion in a mini-round robin validation study of the methods developed.

Results of all VOC determinations and the validation study were analyzed and the new methods were found to be superior to available methods in nearly all cases.

A unified architectural VOC testing manual for use by California air districts was developed.


For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Research Division staff at (916) 445-0753

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