Question: Formaldehyde levels

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Ag8n asked on January 14, 2018 23:53
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Industrially, one of the cheap and easy ways to test for formaldehyde and other gases are draeger tubes. The tubes need a pump, which can be hand operated or electrically controlled. How does your device compare in cost and performance to draeger tubes?

Regards



5 Comments

Maybe @gretchengehrke or @nshapiro can chime in on this one? Thanks!

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@Ag8n, our goal is to have this system be less expensive and more sensitive than Draeger tubes. The pumps recommended for Draeger tubes are often very expensive, which we tried to address in the DIY Formaldehyde Kit discussed here: https://publiclab.org/wiki/formaldehyde-test-kit. However, we found out that the Kitagawa tubes (which appear to use basically the same chemistry and physics as the Draeger tubes) were not as selective for formaldehyde as would be ideal -- they reacted with other aldehydes and ketones (as noted here: https://publiclab.org/notes/gretchengehrke/10-07-2015/formaldehyde-measurement-testing-public-lab-s-kit-with-doh-s-equipment). So, taking these experiences into account, we've been working with industry and academic partners to improve on cost and performance. We're still in the validation phase though.

Thank you for your reply.

I looked at the paper referenced. The pump modifications look very good!

Glad to hear you are in the validation phase. Is the validation protocol available to the public?

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hi @Ag8n, the validation work is being conducted by the Building Energy and Environmental Systems Laboratory at Syracuse University. The protocol is not yet public (and actually, i don't know if it ultimately will be or not -- i will ask!), but it involves building an exposure chamber and introducing known concentrations of formaldehyde and other common co-contaminants like acetone, acetaldehyde, and i think maybe acetonitrile (but i'm not sure).


Thank you for your answer.

There are a lot of questions about color, interferences, number of tests being done, etc. That we could go back and forth on for quite while. Or, I could read the protocol. Thank you for your help.

Regards


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