An emerging mobile air pollution source: outdoor plastic liner manufacturing sites discharge VOCs into urban and rural areas†
The in situ manufacture of cured-in-place-pipe (CIPP) plastic liners in damaged sewer pipes is an emerging mobile source of anthropogenic air pollution. Evidence indicates volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can be released before, during, and after manufacture. The chemical composition of a popular uncured styrene-based CIPP resin was examined, along with the VOCs that remained in the new cured composite. The roles of curing temperature and heating time in waste discharged into the air were examined. Uncured resin contained approximately 39 wt% VOCs. Multiple hazardous air pollutants were present, however, 61 wt% of the uncured resin was not chemically identified. A substantial mass of VOCs (8.87 wt%) was emitted into the air during manufacture, and all cured composites contained about 3 wt% VOCs. Some VOCs were created during manufacture. Curing temperature (65.5–93.3 °C) and heating time (25–100 min) did not cause different composite VOC loadings. High styrene air concentrations inhibited the detection of other VOCs in air. It is estimated that tens of tons of VOCs may be emitted at a single CIPP manufacturing site. Regulators should consider monitoring, and potentially regulating, these growing mobile air pollution and volatile chemical product sources as they are operating in urban and rural areas often in close proximity to residential and commercial buildings.