ISO 16017-2:2003 is applicable to a wide range of VOCs, including hydrocarbons, halogenated hydrocarbons, ester, glycol ethers, ketones and alcohols. A number of sorbents are recommended for the sampling of these VOCs, each sorbent having a different range of applicability. Very polar compounds generally require derivatisation; very low boiling compounds are only partially retained by the sorbents and can only be estimated qualitatively. Semi-volatile compounds are fully retained by the sorbents, but may only be partially recovered.
ISO 16017-2:2003 is applicable to the measurement of airborne vapours of VOCs in a concentration range of approximately 0,002 mg/m3 to 100 mg/m3 individual organic for an exposure time of 8 h, or 0,3 g/m3 to 300 g/m3 individual organic for an exposure time of four weeks.
The upper limit of the useful range is set by the sorptive capacity of the sorbent used and by the linear dynamic range of the gas chromatograph column and detector or by the sample splitting capability of the analytical instrumentation used. The lower limit of the useful range depends on the noise level of the detector and on blank levels of analyte and/or interfering artefacts on the sorbent tubes. Artefacts are typically sub-nanogram for well-conditioned Tenax GR and carbonaceous sorbents, carbonized molecular sieves and pure charcoals; at low nanogram levels for Tenax TA and at 5 ng to 50 ng levels for other porous polymers.