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Re: Definition of VOC

M0FLEI01@ulkyvm.louisville.edu wrote:
> Is there a federal definition of a VOC and if so what is the definition? Is it
> based on vapor pressure?
> Thanks
> Marvin Fleischman, Industrial Assessment Center, Department of
> Chemical Engineering, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
> 40292, 502/852-6357, FAX:502/852-6355, email:m0flei01@ulkyvm.
> louisville.edu

I am sure you will receive a flock of answers to your inquiry.

Much ink has been spilled over what constitutes a volatile organic
compound, as opposed to a volatile organic liquid, not to be confused
with non-methane organic compounds etc., because different federal air
quality regulations have, on the surface, appeared to be inconsistent.

Basically, a federal VOC is both photochemically reactive (contributes
to the formation of ozone) and contains carbon (this lets out NOx).
However, there are some compounds that have been determined, from a
federal perspective, to have negligible photreactivity such as acetone,
and perchloroethylene.

Some states are tougher.

Also, in the past some attempts have been made by states to use a vapor
pressure cutoff to define a VOC. These generally have failed except for
some very carefully defined and limited situations.

Finally, a vapor pressure cut off has been used by some state and
federal agencies when establishing criteria for establishing lists of
defined hazardous compounds or for defining something as a vapor or a

Don Martz
Senior Scientist
Martz Science Consultants