What V.O.C. are?
The abbreviation V.O.C. indicates the class of volatile organic and includes several chemical compounds formed from molecules with functional groups different but characterized by a certain volatility, specific characteristic of the common organic solvents such as paint, thinner and gasoline.
In fact both hydrocarbons containing as unique elements carbon and hydrogen, both the compounds containing oxygen, chlorine or other elements in addition to carbon and hydrogen are classified as VOC.
The Italian legislation defines volatile organic compounds, those organic compounds which - at a temperature of 293,15 K (20 ° C) - have a vapor pressure of 0,01 kPa (*) or higher.
The Volatile Organic Compounds are divided into three categories, depending on the source of origin: anthropogenic compounds, originated mainly by human activities, such as petroleum solvents, and the products of combustion; biogenic compounds with a predominantly natural, essential oils such as vegetable; anthropogenic as well as biogenic compounds, such as isoprene, only present in plant organisms as intermediate compound in the synthesis of biomolecules and widely synthesized industrially for the production of plastics and synthetic rubbers.
The anthropogenic sources emit a total, about 142 million tons of carbon per year, in the form of Volatile Organic Compounds. A major source of anthropogenic VOC coatings are, in particular paints and protective coatings. The solvents are generally issued by protective or decorative film.
On planet Earth it is produced annually about 12 billion liters of paint.
The typical solvents are aliphatic hydrocarbons, ethyl acetate, glycol ethers and acetone. Because of the costs, environmental risks and regulations, the industries of paints and coatings have adopted solutions which substitute the use of solvents with water.
(*) The pascal (symbol: Pa) is a unit of measurement used to measure the pressure. It is equivalent to one newton per square meter.