Models for estimating VOC emissions from latex paints
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Many models for predicting volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions from latex paints have been developed. Earlier models were developed for solvent-borne paints, particularly since these paints evaporate rapidly and can be modeled with simple decay models. However, paint has changed in the past fifty years, and a transition has been made towards water-borne paints. These paints were introduced for indoor applications because they lacked the health hazards and odors of their solvent-borne counterparts. These paints also have organic modifiers, therefore it is very important to predict how these modifiers evaporate from the coated material. New mechanistic models that can predict slow emitting VOCs over long periods of time are not available. An improved ability to predict VOC emissions from latex paints could lead to improved understanding, better policy-making and promotion of environmental regulations that benefit both the consumer and producers of architectural coatings. This research improves on existing models used to estimate VOC emissions off-gassed from latex paints. The developed two layer model (2LM) has a layer for paint and substrate material, and accounts for mass transfer at the paint layer, and diffusion transport between paint and material layers. The model provides a semi-mechanistic way to predict paint drying and VOC emissions from coatings on a variety of substrates. The model only requires the estimation of one parameter (the paint layer diffusion coefficient), unlike other models available that require multiple parameter estimations. This model is robust in the sense that it could be used to predict VOC emissions from paint, as well as predicting the variation of the internal VOC distribution on both paint and material layers with time. The model was tested and validated with empirical data collected from previous controlled chamber experiments, and also with data collected from short evaporation experiments. Critical paint components like polymer and pigment composition and its relation to VOC fate and transport after paint application, both initially and over long periods of time, were explored. Modeling results indicated that the diffusion coefficient of 2,2,4-trimethyl-1,3-pentadediol monoisobutyrate (TMPD-MIB) in the paint layer does not depend on the thickness of the wet paint film, but it depends on the pigment volume concentration (PVC) of the paint. Additionally, a constant diffusion coefficient used in the 2LM was successful for modeling emissions of TMPD-MIB from low pigment volume concentration (LPVC) paints, but it failed to capture the physical mechanisms of the drying film for high pigment volume concentration (HPVC) paints. A major finding from this research was that a detailed gas phase analysis of mass transport for TMPD-MIB would have negligible effects on the predicted overall evaporation rate. Therefore, the entire wet and dry emissions processes are likely dominated by diffusion processes.