Round-robin test for volatile organic substances (VOC) with thermodesorption

Several participants at IFA's test gas stream

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Test gas stream at the IFA
Source: IFA

The round-robin test is offered alternatively with and without sampling. Participants may choose whether they wish to perform sampling for volatile organic substances themselves, or to have the self-conditioned loaded sample carriers supplied to them.

The concentrations to be measured will lie within the range between 10 to 200 µg/m³. The concentration of benzene will lie close to the acceptance concentration of 0.2 mg/m³ (60 ppb) [1]. Analysis has to be conducted by gas chromatography by means of thermal desorption to DIN EN ISO 16017-1 [2], DIN EN ISO 16000-6 [3] or IFA Folder No. 8936 [4].

For benzene you can use the method according to IFA-Folder No. 6265, measurement method No. 2 [5].

1 Round-robin test with sampling

A large-scale dynamic test gas stream can be found at the IFA. It is suitable for parallel sampling by up to 13 participants.

  • When:
    1st series of experiments: 03/04 May 2017
    2nd series of experiments: 09/10 May 2017
  • Where:
    Institut für Arbeitsschutz der Deutschen Gesetzlichen Unfallversicherung (IFA)
    Alte Heerstr. 111
    53757 Sankt Augustin
  • Concentration range: 10 to 200 µg/m³
  • Duration: 1,5 hours plus preparation time and run-in period.
  • Number of test series: 2 (Prior to every series of experiments a blank value sample taken from the pure gas of the dynamic test stream is offered in order for proper blank value adjustment.).
  • Accomodations: Hotels at Sankt Augustin

Selection of VOC

Substance group Substances
Alkanes n-heptane, n-octane, n-decane, dodecane, n-pentadecane
Alcohols propylene glycol, butan-1-ol, 2-butoxyethanol,
2-(2-butoxyethoxy)-ethanol, 2-ethyl-1-hexanol,
Aromates benzene, toluene, o-, m-, p-xylene, ethylbenzene, trimethylbenzene, cumene
Esters n-butyl acetate, 2-butoxyethyl acetate, 2-(2-butoxy ethoxy)-ethyl acetate, 2-ethoxy ethylacetate
Ketones and aldehydes butan-2-one, hexanal, octanal, acetophenone, 4-methyl-2-pentanone

Participants will receive detailed information on the round-robin test, a description of the apparatus and the connections for the sampling devices in particular, and a list of the substances to be analysed in good time.

2 Round-robin test without sampling

The production of samples for volatile organic substances is conducted at the dynamic test gas stream of the IFA. The particular feature of this round-robin test is that thermal desorption tubes are employed for loading which must be conditioned by the participants prior to the round-robin test. Each participant (analysis laboratory) submits seven thermal desorption tubes to the IFA. The tubes and the blank value adjustments will be loaded with a sampling volume of 2 l. Only personal air samplers are used at the IFA. The sample carrier should not generate a back pressure exceeding 5.0 kPa under the specified conditions. Where internally fabricated sample carriers are used, please supply an adapter (GL14/GL25 threaded connection) for the test gas stream.

Each participant receives a sample kit comprising:

  • Four loaded Tenax-TA tubes (two duplicate analyses)
  • two tubes for blank value adjustment, removed from the pure gas of the dynamic test stream, before loading the tubes
  • one unloaded tube.


[1] Technical Rule for Hazardous Substances 910: Risk-related concept of measures for activities involving carcinogenic hazardous substances (TRGS 910). Version: February 2014. GMBl. (2014) No. 12, p. 258-270, last amended GMBl. (2014) No. 64, p. 1313

[2] DIN EN ISO 16017-1: Indoor, ambiant and workplace air - Sampling and analysis of volatile organic compounds by sorbent tube/thermal desorption/capillary gas chromatography - Part 1: Pumped sampling (10.01). Beuth, Berlin 2001

[3] DIN ISO 16000-6: Indoor air - Part 6: Determination of volatile organic compounds in indoor and test chamber air by active sampling on Tenax TA® sorbent, thermal desorption and gas chromatography using MS or MS-FID (ISO 16000-6:2011). Beuth, Berlin 2012

[4] VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds, Flüchtige Organische Substanzen) (Kennzahl 8936). In: IFA-Arbeitsmappe Messung von Gefahrstoffen. 45 Lfg. – X/2010. Ed.: Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung (DGUV), Berlin. Erich Schmidt, Berlin 2011 – Loose-leaf edition

[5] Benzol, Messverfahren Nr. 2 (Kennzahl 6265). In: IFA-Arbeitsmappe Messung von Gefahrstoffen. Lfg. 2 – X/2013.