The effect of a photocatalytic air purifier on indoor air quality quantified using different measuring methods

Barbara Kolarik, Pawel Wargocki, A. Skorek-Osikowska, A. Wisthaler

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The effect on indoor air quality of an air purifier based on photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) was determined by different measuring techniques: sensory assessments of air quality made by human subjects, Proton-Transfer-Reaction Mass Spectrometry (PTR-MS) and chromatographic methods (Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry and High-Pressure Liquid Chromatography with UV detection). The experiment was conducted in a simulated office, ventilated with 0.6 h(-1), 2.5 h(-1) and 6 h(-1), in the presence of additional pollution sources (carpet, chipboard and linoleum). At the lowest air change rate, additional measurements were made with no pollution sources present in the office. All conditions were tested with the photocatalytic air purifier turned on and off. The results show that operation of the air purifier in the presence of pollutants emitted by building materials and furniture improves indoor air quality, as documented by sensory assessments made by human subjects. It also reduces concentrations of many chemical compounds present in the air as documented by the PTR-MS technique. For the lowest ventilation, results from measurements using the chromatographic methods have similar tendency, however many of the 50 compounds that were targeted for analysis were not detected at all, independent of whether the purifier was on or off. For the two conditions with higher ventilation the results were inconclusive.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBuilding and Environment
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1434-1440
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Indoor air quality
  • Photocatalytic oxidation
  • PTR-MS
  • Sensory assessments
  • Air purifier
  • GC/MS

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