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Predicting emission characteristics of volatile organic compounds from wet surface coatings
A mathematical model is developed to describe the emission characteristics of VOCs from homogeneous wet coating materials deposited on impermeable substrates. The model considers mass transfer in the material and in air, boundary layer resistance and the change in the coating thickness with time due to emission of VOC. Key features of the model are incorporation of concentration dependent VOC diffusion coefficients predicted from a physical model and nonlinear equilibrium isotherm at the coating/air interface. The model is applied to predict emission characteristics of MMA from acrylic based surface coatings. In an attempt to investigate the influences of equilibrium isotherm type and diffusion formalism on the predictions, simulations are performed with either constant or concentration dependent diffusivities and linear or nonlinear equilibrium isotherms. The lowest MMA concentration in air is predicted by incorporating the concentration dependent diffusivity and nonlinear equilibrium isotherm. The results suggest that assuming the diffusivity of MMA constant or equilibrium isotherm linear may lead to wrong conclusions about the emission rates from wet coatings. The model is general, fully predictive and can be used to predict emission rates of different VOCs from different coating materials if diffusion and thermodynamic parameters are available.