This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Development and validation of a Paper-based analytical device (PAD) for formaldehyde detection and its utilization in wood composites emissions




Garcia, Jose

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Forestry and Wildlife Science

Restriction Status


Restriction Type

Auburn University Users

Date Available



Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are caused by different sources, including non-fully cured adhesives used to bond the pieces of wood in the fabrication of wood composites. N on-cured Phenol-Formaldehyde resins represent an important source of formaldehyde emissions. PF adhesives improve water-resistant characteristics and enhance the mechanical properties of wood composites. The impact of formaldehyde emissions has raised concern for human health and the environment and has motivated the present research work. The objective for this research is to develop a multi-pad paper-based sensor for quantifying formaldehyde in air at target concentrations. The sensor would offer a simple and cost-efficient alternative that can be used without expensive instruments and no need for experienced analysts. This analytical tool might contribute to the safety of the personnel working in the manufacturing plants of forest products such as particleboards containing formaldehyde-made resins. This multi-pad system can be developed further, to detect formaldehyde at target concentrations, Therefore, the method would be a great interest of wood panels manufacturers, inspection companies, and sectors where the below limit concentration of formaldehyde is essential. The sensor will change its color depending on the accumulated concentration, which can be readily appreciated at sight. The results of our work were assessed by image analysis, and it was possible to demonstrate that our system shows a clear reaction when exposed to formaldehyde and can be used for detection of low formaldehyde concentration values below 0.09 ppm (the limit accepted by the California Air Resources Board, CARB)