Approaches for estimating PUF-air partitions coefficient for semi-volatile organic compounds: A critical comparison
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Partition coefficients between polyurethane foam (PUF) and air (KPUF-Air) are important when using PUF as a passive air sampler for semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) and when considering the fate of SVOCs indoors where PUF is a common material. Here, KPUF-Air for selected SVOCs was estimated using published methods, since measured data are unavailable for most of these compounds. Estimates of KPUF-Air were within one order of magnitude for SVOCs having values of log octanol-air partition coefficient (KOA) of 5, but differed by nearly three orders of magnitude for SVOCs with log KOA of 12. Of all the methods, the correlation developed using experimental measurements gave the lowest estimates for the high KOA compounds, likely because the compounds did not reach equilibrium throughout the PUF sample. The surface area/volume ratio of the PUF sample was shown to influence the observed correlation, a reflection of the equilibration status of the PUF. For quantitative comparison, the poly parameter linear free energy relationship (pp-LFER) model of Kamprad and Goss (2007) was used here as a "surrogate" standard. The correlations developed with vapor pressure and KOA produced estimates that were closest to those obtained using the pp-LFER model. COSMO-RS theory, in which intimate and unimpeded contact is assumed between the compound in air and PUF molecules, gave lower estimates for low KOA compounds, but good average agreement for high KOA compounds. When used in modeling applications, the selection of the method for estimating KPUF-Air should reflect the configuration of the products containing PUF and the model assumptions regarding compound homogeneity within the PUF.
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