The World's Leading PTR-MS Trace Analyzers Company

VOC release from WPC: a new PTR-TOFMS application

Wood-plastic composites – replacing plastics with wood

In the quest for new alternatives for crude oil based materials such as plastics, WPCs (Wood-plastic composites) seem to be suitable materials, used in buildings and in the automobiles production. WPC are natural fiber composites with properties of both plastic and wood. It is estimated that the production of WPCs will experience an annual growth of 14% between 2014 and 2019 according to a study by the University of Eastern Finland.

In the study a new sort of additives to the WPC were investigated and the VOC release monitored with IONICON PTR-TOFMS. 

Putting waste to use – liquids separated from wood as additives in WPCs

Liquid by-products generated from biochar production and heat treatment of wood were observed to enhance the compatibility of wood and plastic as well as to improve water absorbing and weather resistance properties of the material in the study. Moreover, these additives are process waste and can be re-used for the WPC production.

Wood-plastic composites

VOC release monitoring from WPC using IONICON PTR-TOFMS

The study also examined the suitability of IONICON PTR-MS for quantifying the amounts of VOCs released from WPCs and describes their finding as follows: “The advantages of the method include a short analysis time and the opportunity to monitor the release of VOCs in real time. The study suggests that PTR-MS is a suitable method for analysing the amount of VOCs released from WPCs.”

Furthermore the University of Eastern Finland adds: “Clear and consistent differences between different WPCs and amounts of VOCs released were found using PTR-MS. For example, significant amounts of VOCs were released right after manufacturing. The amounts of VOCs released grew after the addition of liquid by-products from biochar production and heat treatment of wood; however, the emission levels of harmful compounds did not increase to a level that would be hazardous.”

Source: University of Eastern Finland (2016): Liquid by-products from wood and forest industry find use in wood-plastic composites. 

Press release, retrieved from: