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Volatile organic compounds

Volatile organic compounds (VOC) is a term for carbonaceous molecules that are volatile due to their high vapour pressure. According to this definition, methane also belongs to the VOCs, but in technical processes VOCs without methane are generally used as the sum parameter. VOCs are either produced by natural processes, ruminants emit methane and many moulds produce terpenes. In technical processes, there are a variety of VOC sources, e.g. organic solvents, paints, plastics or traffic. The consumption of tobacco products also leads to the release of VOCs. The removal of VOCs can be achieved either by filter systems or by chemical reactions. The use of catalysts plays an important role here, but plasma with its reactive species can also be used to oxidise the VOCs and thus convert them into carbon dioxide and other carbon-free gases.

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