The indoor air of a room is highly important because it has a big impact on people’s comfort. If the air is contaminated due to the materials installed within the room, the air can lead to annoyance reactions, discomfort, and even headaches and dizziness. However, until today, identifying the odorous sources remains difficult.
In this paper, a new approach for the determination of the odour sources of indoor air is described.
In the investigated room, sampling bags were placed on the various surfaces. The surface emission was thus captured in sample bags. An additional sample of the indoor air was taken. As a first step, the spectra in GC- IMS of the various surfaces and the room air were compared. From the similarities, the sample with the highest potential to be the odour source was chosen. From this sample, a GC-MS and a parallel GC-Sniffing analysis were performed.
The results were used to select two substances with a high odourous impact in the GC-Sniffing analysis but also have a matching odour description with the indoor air character. For these substances, no odour detection threshold (OTV) in literature was known. In a second step, an OTV was determined for these substances using the DIN EN 13725 (2003).
As a conclusion, the combination of molecular and olfactory analysis allows the identification of odorous sources in indoor air.