VERTEX’s terpene and alcohol chemical mixture (TAC) Indoor Air Tracer is a new and innovative air sensing technology. In 2017, we obtained US Patent Approval for innovative use of photoionization sensor technology for atmospheric tracer measurement, using a ‘green’ aliphatic citrus terpene and alcohol reagent mixture (LIPA).
TAC enables measurement of an air parcel as it moves through a building. One can detect and measure a labelled air mass over building-scale distances using parts per billion (ppb) detection in an air parcel. Common applications include use for determining the concentration and frequency of entrainment of exhaust fumes into an air intake or open window. The technology allows timed auto-injection of the tracer into the exhaust duct and sensor placement at the various locations of concern.
TAC mixtures are traditionally used in fragrance formulations, and are well studied and reported in terms of environmental safety and human toxicity. They are present as volatile constituents of all plants, and therefore they are also normal components of the atmosphere. Humans are continually exposed to these chemicals throughout our lifetimes through consumption of a traditional diet and inhalation of air. Because the TAC components are extracted directly from naturally occurring sources, its use does not result in the release into the environment of any more materials than would occur naturally.
Prior technology for air tracing using sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) methods require compressed gasses and expensive IR or EC analyzers which can give only a limited series of measurements. Unique capabilities of TAC technology are the ability to rapidly deploy controlled tracer release, measurement in real time using multiple arrayed sensors, without having to release global warming compressed gases, at lower cost and with improved data acquisition over SF6 methods.
TAC Tracer pulse duration and repeat frequency can be set based on various survey conditions and objectives. Short pulse measurements in occupied indoor air zones may be used simply to track air movement within a zone, between zones, and to locate air leakage locations. Time-concentration sensor data can be used to measure contaminant removal efficiency in an indoor space. Timed tracer releases can be set for extended times (days) to track frequency and duration of tracer readings.
Building Scale Air Tracing
TAC air tracing provides a unique tool for measurement of indoor air distribution in and between spaces in buildings, and in-duct measurements of mechanical systems performance under normal operations over a range of set points and environmental controls.
A Green Air Tracer
In addition to the physical properties which allow the tracer to persist during the measurement term, T.A.C tracer fulfills the following requirements for practical suitability: excellent health and safety aspects, low environmental burden, high availability and good handling in practical use at low cost, and, not least, TAC tracer is well recordable with established measurement techniques over a wide concentration range and with good precision
Limonene is readily biodegradable, has a zero net global warming potential and is an environmentally preferable product (EPP) used as is or as part of an EPP formulation. TAC mixture is relatively low toxicity to aquatic organisms, insects and plants, low acute and chronic toxicity, and data on the environmental fate, transport, and effects shows no contribution to global warming, depletion of stratospheric ozone, a relatively low reactivity in photochemical smog and a low potential for ground level ozone formation. Because the TAC components are extracted from naturally occurring sources, its use does not result in the release into the environment of any more materials than would occur naturally. Using naturally derived TAC tracer, by replacing SF6 and perfluorocarbons, will result in source reduction of the most potent global warming chemicals.
Cliff Cooper is an environmental health professional with thirty years of experience managing industrial hygiene programs and consulting with clients in matters of indoor environmental quality and health and safety. He is an expert in the measurement and evaluation of chemical and biological exposures, risk assessment, and regulatory compliance.
American Board of Industrial Hygiene: Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH), Comprehensive Practice No. 8246.
VERTEX is at West Coast Casualty's 25th Annual Construction Defect Seminar
May 17, 2018
VERTEX’s will be exhibiting at West Coast Casualty’s 25th Annual Construction Defect Seminar in Anaheim, CA on May 17th and 18th. If you see Chris Morley, Mark Degenaars, Kevin Maxwell, Matt Click, Pasha Ameli or Ashley Combs, be sure to stop and say hello! The West Coast Casualty Construction Defect Seminar series is the largest event of…
VERTEX at Massbuys Expo 2018. Greg Sampson, Chris Carleo, and Andrew Chagnan. VERTEX is excited to participate at MassBuys Expo May 10th. Stop by our booth (#134). We will have experts in design engineering, environmental, and construction to talk with, and you could win a football! VERTEX’s State-Wide Contracts PRF67 – DCAMM Environmental…
VERTEX is Proud to Support South Shore Health System
May 7, 2018
VERTEX is proud to support the South Shore Health System Foundation. Benjamin Strong, COO and Jeffrey Picard, President, are active members of the South Shore Health System’s Presidents’ Circle. South Shore Health System (formerly, South Shore Health and Educational Corporation) is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt, charitable Health System that provides a broad range of health services to…
VERTEX’s Project 50,000 was initiated earlier this month by our Phili-metro office. Congratulations to our PA team on opening the monumental Project Number! This project milestone represents a level of experience and achievement that few in the AEC industry can claim. This photo shows some of our PA team and was taken at lunch hour during…
VERTEX's Thomas Koch to be a Panelist at CREJ Sustainability Event
April 24, 2018
On April 26th, Thomas Koch, VERTEX’s Vice President of Industrial Hygiene & EHS Services, will be a panelist on “Well Building Update: What Landlords Need to Know” at CREJ’s Sustainability: Achieving the Next Level. This is CREJ’s principal Green Building event of the year with more than 200 attendees anticipated representing owners, brokers, property managers,…
Molds and mold spores are a common component of household and workplace dust. When they are present in large quantities, they can potentially present health hazards, allergic reactions and respiratory problems depending on individual susceptibility. Upon discovery of mold, its important to involve someone with the industry knowledge to solve any potential problems. What is…
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), over 500,000 people are treated each year for ladder related falls. Whether you use a ladder out in the field, in your workplace or at home, safety should always be your number one priority. At VERTEX, safety is part of our culture. We recently hosted…
As facilities throughout the northeast move from the cold winter weather into warmer spring and summer months, a host of indoor air quality (IAQ) issues can develop as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems switch from the heating seasons to the cooling seasons. How Seasonal Changes Affect Indoor Air Quality One of the…
Air Quality Testing with Tracer Gas – What you Need to Know
November 29, 2017
What is an air tracer? An air tracer is any gas introduced in small quantities into the main body of air to determine either the air current or the leakage paths in a ventilation system. An air tracer is a chemical that when emitted into an air parcel can be measured as it moves through time…