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A mechanistic study of limonene oxidation products and pathways following cleaning activities

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JournalAtmospheric Environment
DateE-pub ahead of print - 14 Sep 2013
DatePublished (current) - Dec 2013
Issue numbern/a
Volume80
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)507-513
Early online date14/09/13
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Indoor air pollution has caused increasing concern since the 1970s, when the advent of stricter energy efficiency measures lead to increased reports of building related symptoms. Cleaning activities have been linked to adverse health effects indoors, although it is unclear which of the components of cleaning products cause these reported health effects. This paper uses a detailed chemical model for indoor air chemistry, to identify the species formed at the highest concentrations following use of a limonene-based cleaning product. The explicit nature of the chemical mechanism also permits the key pathways to their formation to be identified. The results show that the key species in terms of gas-phase concentration are multi-functional carbonyl species including limonaldehyde, 4-acetyl-1-methyl-1-cyclohexene and other dicarbonyl species. The particle-phase was dominated by peroxide species. The predicted gas-phase concentrations for three limonene-oxidation products were compared to recently published human reference values, but found not to be high enough to cause concern for typical indoor conditions, or under high indoor ozone conditions. However, cleaning products contain a range of terpenes other than limonene, which could also produce some of the secondary products identified here, as well as more common species such as formaldehyde, glyoxal and hydrogen peroxide. A mechanistic pathway analysis shows that the secondary products formed through limonene oxidation indoors depend critically on the competition between ozone and hydroxyl radicals, such that indoor pollutant concentrations and composition could vary widely in different locations for a nominally similar residence and indoor activities. Future studies should focus on aiming to measure multi-functional carbonyl species indoors to help validate models, whilst human reference values are needed for many more relevant species indoors.

    Research areas

  • indoor air pollution, limonene, ozone, multi-functional carbonyl groups, cleaning; detailed chemical model

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