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Assessment of the chemical-physical variables affecting the evaporation of organic compounds from aqueous solutions in a sampling wind tunnel

Invernizzi, Marzio, Bellini, Alessia, Miola, Riccardo, Capelli, Laura, Busini, Valentina, Sironi, Selena
Chemosphere 2019 v.220 pp. 353-361
acetone, air flow, ambient temperature, aqueous solutions, boiling point, butanol, ethanol, evaporation, gases, liquids, odors, solubility, theoretical models, vapor pressure, volatile organic compounds, volatilization, wind tunnels
The aim of this work is the evaluation and the analysis of the different chemical-physical variables that affect the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and odours from passive liquid area sources inside a wind tunnel, which is typically used for emission sampling. Three different compounds (acetone, butanol and ethanol), having different volatilization properties (e.g., boiling point, solubility), were studied in solution with water at different concentrations. The following physical parameters affecting the VOC volatilization in the Wind Tunnel system were evaluated: the velocity of the air flowing through the device, in a range from 0.01 to about 0.05 m/s, and the temperature of both the liquid source and the sweep air flow, in a range from 12 °C to 42 °C. The experimental results were compared with the existing volatilization models available in literature. In most cases the proposed theoretical model predicts well the experimentally measured concentration. Some discrepancies were observed for lower velocities and also by moving from the room temperature (20 °C); and those were discussed by making some considerations about the volatilization phenomenon. Moreover, the study clearly shows that it is not the gas phase temperature that controls the emission, but the temperature of the liquid phase, due to the effect of the latter on the vapour pressure of the compound, which is the main driving force of the phenomenon.