Characterization and Behavior of Chemical Spills in the Indoor Industrial or Laboratory Room

EPA Grant Number: GF9501734
Title: Characterization and Behavior of Chemical Spills in the Indoor Industrial or Laboratory Room
Investigators: Reinke, Patricia
Institution: University of Minnesota
EPA Project Officer: Broadway, Virginia
Project Period: January 1, 1996 through January 1, 2000
Project Amount: $28,394
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1995) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , Fellowship - Earth


The purpose of this project is to develop and validate a model to predict the average air contaminant concentration in a laboratory room at a given time following the spill of a volatile chemical. This project will be carried out in four phases. Each of these four phases is described below. Phase 1 is comprised of model laboratory room studies. These experiments will be carried out in a model laboratory room and will attempt to obtain quality data on the dispersion of evaporating contaminants. It is the hypothesis of these experiments that the dispersion of an evaporating contaminant can be predicted using tracer gas. Phase 2 consists of laboratory room dispersion characteristics. After completion of the model room dispersion studies, tracer gases and smoke sticks will be used to test airflow in the University laboratory rooms. Phase 3 of this project consists of model laboratory room studies (uncontained spills). These experiments will further investigate the behavior of uncontained spills. These experiments will most likely involve introduction of uncontained pools of various different chemical species into the model lab room characterized in the first phase of experiments. Measurements of spill area, spill mass, spill temperature, and room concentration will allow characterization of the spill/air system, and evaluation of current evaporation models. Phase 4 further investigate model laboratory room studies (mixtures). A number of methods have been proposed for predicting evaporation rates of multi-component liquid spills. These experiments will most likely use an infrared spectrometer to measure the concentration of an individual spill component in the air, while pool temperature, area, and temperature are measured using methods developed in earlier experiments.

Supplemental Keywords:

Scientific Discipline, Air, Toxics, Chemical Engineering, Environmental Chemistry, Chemistry, VOCs, Analytical Chemistry, indoor air, chemical spill characterization, indoor VOC compounds, industrial room, laboratory room, chemical spill behavior, indoor air quality, air quality