|Material||VOC Source||Example Compounds|
|Polymers (Plastic & Rubbers)||Unreacted monomers||Styrene in ABS, Formaldehyde in PU|
|Volatile oligomers||C9-C15 hydrocarbons from PU|
|Plasticizer||Phthalates in vinyl|
|Processing chemicals||Siloxanes from mold release|
|Flame retardants||Tris Phosphates|
|Adhesive||Acrylic resins||Acrylic acid esters|
|Compound||Limit Level (mg/m3)|
Figure 2: Proposed limit levels from 2017 onIn addition, and intimately related to VOCs, lays the odor problem. Most odors, both good and bad, are the result of VOCs such as formaldehyde, styrene, and xylenes. In the US, for instance, "new car smell" is a beloved scent. People even try to make their cars smell new with after-market cleaning products. But in China, customers find the same odor repulsive. As the Chinese auto market grows, car makers are looking for a way to make the aroma of their new vehicles more amenable to Chinese tastes.
Last but not least, the intensive use of the car that new ways of mobility advance set the need for means of cleaning the anthropogenic odors and emissions such us high CO2 concentration (due to the breathing process), tobacco smell… Proprietary vehicles lay idle up to 97% of their lifespan and are used by 1.9 people a day on average. With this new paradigm, cars are going to be used by 4 people each day, diminishing their unused times and increasing the importance of the interior air quality perception.
To summarize, pollutant levels are often higher inside, even up to 15x worse than just a few meters away, because cars take in emissions from surrounding vehicles and from its own interior and recirculate them. As environmental concerns increase, and new challenges appear, the need for newer and more efficient air quality management systems is profoundly highlighted.If you can contribute with a solution to improve air quality in vehicle interiors, help us with the Vehicle Interior Air Quality Management Challenge. Join our community of engineers
- B. Xu, X. Chen and J. Xiong, Air quality inside motor vehicles’ cabins: A review, Indoor and Built Environment, 2016, published online.
- J.D. Power and Associates, China Initial Quality Study, 2016, ‘Unpleasant odour’ was the cause of 16.0 reported problems per 100 new vehicles in the first 90 days after purchase, well above the next most common complaint, ‘Excessive road noise’, with a rating of 5.9.
- Markes International website
- GB/T 27630, Guideline for air quality assessment of passenger car, Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection, 2011.