Almost all materials release substances into their immediate environment. This also applies to building products or materials used to manufacture vehicles. However, this knowledge does not provide any information about the effect of the emitted substances on humans or the environment.
Examples of sources of emissions include biological degradation processes (mold, bacteria), human emissions, sewage systems, industrial or agricultural waste gases or materials installed in indoor areas. Gaseous emissions are also released through cooking, smoking and the use of cosmetics.

These emissions are known as VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Depending on their volatility or boiling point, they are classified as VVOC (very volatile organic compounds), VOC (volatile organic compounds) or SVOC (semi volatile organic compounds). An additional classification is made depending on their origin and chemical function (e.g. MVOC (microbial induced VOC), solvents, fuels/operating fluids, fragrances, flame retardants and wood preservatives). The substances and quantities released must be known in order to estimate the impact of these emissions.
The necessary analyses and tests for various areas are among the services offered by Fraunhofer IBP.


Building products

Emissions from building products are subject to regulatory requirements.  Compliance with legal requirements can be proven through test cell analyses. We use emission test cells to determine VOC emissions from building products. For building products that are used outdoors or on the exterior of the building envelope, we conduct laboratory tests as well as field tests under real weather conditions.


Air quality inside buildings

The quality of indoor air is often blamed for health problems. The first step towards identifying possible sources of harmful substances is to investigate the quality of the indoor air. The air samples taken are analyzed in the laboratory and the results evaluated.


Vehicle components (interior and exterior)

Interior and exterior automotive components are often made of parts containing plastic. These can emit VOCs. The emissions from individual components or from the entire vehicle interior can be determined in the emission test cells or in the vehicle test chamber, respectively.


Vehicle interiors

Polymers are the main materials used for vehicle interiors. As a vehicle heats up, the quantity of VOC emissions rises. In order to determine the substances released in the process, conditions can be simulated in the vehicle test chamber in accordance with international standards or manufacturer specifications.


Vehicle propulsion systems

The propulsion systems of motor vehicles emit not only exhaust gases during the combustion of fuels, but also operating fluids such as lubricating and hydraulic oils, fuel or coolants. With our engine test bench, we can determine these evaporative emissions.


Test bench with emission test cells

Much of the test equipment we use is not available on the market. Therefore, we work together with external partners to design, construct and manufacture special test benches for detecting VOC emissions (volatile organic compounds) or for determining the efficacy of photocatalysts and adsorbers according to customer specifications.