Isoprene from expired air inside a private car
Journal article, 1997

The concentration of isoprene inside a small-sized parked private car with one person was found to be of the order of 20 g/m3. Isoprene was then the major non-methane volatile hydrocarbon except in strongly traffic-polluted parking places. On driving, with intermediate fan ventilation, the isoprene levels were one order of magnitude lower. In the empty car, the concentrations were still much lower, proving that isoprene originates predominantly from expired air. Air samples were taken on triple-layer adsorbent cartridges and were analysed for volatile hydrocarbons by gas chromatography after thermal desorption. The analytical aluminium oxide column permitted simultaneous determination of a range of reported traffic-emitted hydrocarbons including the carcinogenic 1,3-butadiene and benzene.



adsorbent sampling

human breath

gas chromatography


Susan Björkqvist

Department of Chemical Environmental Science

Anders Spetz

Department of Chemical Environmental Science

Olle Jerker Ramnäs

Department of Chemical Environmental Science

Göran Petersson

Department of Chemical Environmental Science

The science of the total environment

Vol. 207 63-67

Subject Categories

Analytical Chemistry

Medical Biotechnology (with a focus on Cell Biology (including Stem Cell Biology), Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry or Biopharmacy)

Environmental Sciences

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