Temporal evolution of the main processes that control indoor pollution in an office microenvironment: a case study

Environ Monit Assess. 2010 Aug;167(1-4):199-217. doi: 10.1007/s10661-009-1043-1. Epub 2009 Jun 27.


The aim of this study is to examine the relative contribution of the outdoor concentration, the ventilation rate, the geometric characteristics of the indoor environment (i.e., extent of indoor surfaces and indoor volume), the deposition, and chemical reactions to the indoor air quality of the office microenvironment. For this case study, the NO, NO2, and O3 concentrations indoors and outdoors and TVOCs and CO2 concentrations indoors were measured in an office microenvironment in Athens, Greece, that was ventilated both naturally and mechanically. The calculated ventilation and loss rates and the measured outdoor concentrations of NO, NO2, and O3 were set as input to Multi-chamber Indoor Air Quality Model in order to study the temporal variation of the indoor NO, NO2, and O3 concentrations. Results showed that when the ventilation rate and outdoor concentration are high, the relative contribution of the transport process contributes significantly, while the chemical process depends on the contemporary interplay between the indoor O3, NO, and NO2 concentrations and lighting levels. The significance of each process was further examined by performing sensitivity tests, and it was found that the most important parameters were the deposition velocities, the UV infiltration rates (which determines the indoor chemical reaction rates), the ventilation rates, and the filtration (when a mechanical ventilation system is used). The effect of the hydrocarbon chemistry was not significant.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / analysis*
  • Air Pollution, Indoor / analysis*
  • Carbon Dioxide / analysis
  • Environmental Monitoring*
  • Greece
  • Nitric Oxide / analysis
  • Nitrogen Dioxide / analysis
  • Ozone / analysis
  • Time Factors


  • Air Pollutants
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Ozone
  • Nitrogen Dioxide