Ozone consumption and byproduct formation from surface reaction with common materials in aircraft passenger cabins

Publication Type

Journal Article

Date Published





We measured ozone consumption and byproduct formation on materials commonly found in aircraft cabins at flight-relevant conditions. Two series of small-chamber experiments were conducted, with most runs at low relative humidity (10%) and high air-exchange rate (∼20 h−1). New and used cabin materials (seat fabric, carpet, and plastic) and laundered and worn clothing fabrics (cotton, polyester, and wool) were studied. We measured ozone deposition to many material samples, and we measured ozone uptake and primary and secondary emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from a subset of samples. Deposition velocities ranged from 0.06 to 0.54 cm s−1. Emissions of VOCs were higher with ozone than without ozone in every case. The most commonly detected secondary emissions were C1 through C10 saturated aldehydes and the squalene oxidation products 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one and acetone. For the compounds measured, summed VOC emission rates in the presence of 55–128 ppb (residual level) ozone ranged from 1.0 to 8.9 μmol h−1 m−2. Total byproduct yield ranged from 0.07 to 0.24 moles of product volatilized per mole of ozone consumed. Results were used to estimate the relative contribution of different materials to ozone deposition and byproduct emissions in a typical aircraft cabin. The dominant contributor to both was clothing fabrics, followed by seat fabric. Results indicate that ozone reactions with surfaces substantially reduce the ozone concentration in the cabin but also generate volatile byproducts of potential concern for the health and comfort of passengers and crew.


Atmospheric Environment



Year of Publication





Research Areas