Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Indoor air pollution: Minerals reduce impact of formaldehyde in particle board on indoor air quality

Date:
January 17, 2011
Source:
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Summary:
One of the sources of emission for pollutants in living spaces are particle boards glued with adhesives that contain formaldehyde. There is a new method that will now provide another way to reduce these vapors. The trick can be found in special minerals that equip wood materials with properties for cleaning air in living spaces.

Minerals provide better indoor air.
Credit: Image courtesy of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

One of the sources of emission for pollutants in living spaces are particleboards glued with adhesives that contain formaldehyde. There is a new method that will now provide another way to reduce these vapors. The trick can be found in special minerals that equip wood materials with properties for cleaning air in living spaces.

Since the 50s, formaldehyde has been the basic material for many artificial resins and glues used in particleboards and plywood boards. Estimates indicate that more than 85 percent of all wood materials have adhesives containing formaldehyde. This substance escapes from the materials and, along with other sources, pollutes indoor air. This is why numerous ways have been developed to reduce emissions, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization WHO has even classified formaldehyde as carcinogenic for humans. Thereupon both the existing threshold value of 0.1 ppm issued by Germany's then-Federal Health Office in 1977 and WHO's standard value of 100 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m³) have been confirmed.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut WKI in Braunschweig, Germany, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC in Würzburg, Germany, have found a new method to reduce formaldehyde emissions from particleboard: modified zeolites. These are aluminosilicates that function as a molecular sieve due to their extremely large inner surface and porous structure so that they can absorb formaldehyde particularly well. Dr. Katrin Bokelmann ought to know because she is the project manager at the Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research who, along with her team, is in charge of manufacturing mineral compounds. As she puts it: "Zeolites are already used as a filling material in particleboards, but it's an entirely new idea to use them for adsorbing pollutants in wood materials."

The researchers were not able to achieve sufficiently high rates of adsorption in their tests of various commercially available or natural minerals. The best adsorption properties of these aluminosilicates were measured in synthetic zeolite Y, which the experts modified and improved with amino groups. Dr. Jan Gunschera is the project manager at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research and this is how he sees it: "We noticed a 70 percent boost in the adsorption rate after we added formaldehyde to the processed material in our measuring chambers and then we put five percent by weight of the zeolite powder directly into our sample particleboards made of spruce roundwood. The result was that formaldehyde emissions from the board dropped 40 percent -- both short-term and long-term tests of one month confirm these findings. In other words, the air in living spaces should be measurably improved. Our tests indicate that this technology can even reduce indoor air pollutant levels." The properties of the wood materials did not undergo any negative influence from the zeolites, it was reported.

The researchers have applied for a patent for the new technique and think that modified zeolites -- worked into furniture or ceiling panels -- could conceivably reduce not only formaldehyde but also other aldehyde levels in indoor air. Scientists are currently looking for partners from the wood materials industry to mass-produce particleboards.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Indoor air pollution: Minerals reduce impact of formaldehyde in particle board on indoor air quality." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110110090432.htm>.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. (2011, January 17). Indoor air pollution: Minerals reduce impact of formaldehyde in particle board on indoor air quality. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110110090432.htm
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Indoor air pollution: Minerals reduce impact of formaldehyde in particle board on indoor air quality." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110110090432.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Airlines on Iceland Volcano Alert

Airlines on Iceland Volcano Alert

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 22, 2014) — Iceland evacuates an area north of the country's Bardarbunga volcano, as the country's civil protection agency says it cannot rule out an eruption. Authorities have already warned airlines. As Joel Flynn reports, ash from the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010 shut down much of Europe's airspace for six days. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) — A federal judge temporarily banned coyote hunting to save endangered red wolves, but local hunters say that the wolf preservation program does more harm than good. Meanwhile federal officials are reviewing its wolf program in North Carolina. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks

Coal Gas Boom in China Holds Climate Risks

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) — China's energy revolution could do more harm than good for the environment, despite the country's commitment to reducing pollution and curbing its carbon emissions. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microbrewery Chooses Special Can for Its Beer

Microbrewery Chooses Special Can for Its Beer

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) — Aluminum giant, Novelis, has partnered with Red Hare Brewing Company to introduce the first certified high-content recycled beverage can. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins