Vehicle Interior Air Quality (VIAQ) Introduction

Vehicle interior air quality (VIAQ) has been of concern to both car manufacturers and the public for some time, along with the possible health impact of this “new car smell”. This has led to several countries imposing concentration limits on a range of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Currently, these standards are based around two traditional laboratory-based analytical methods (gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)) that are expensive, have slow sample turnaround, require trained laboratory technicians, and are incompatible with rapid testing on the production line or in the parking lot.

The high-speed, sensitive analysis provided by SIFT-MS makes it ideally suited to testing of chemically diverse VOCs in the Vehicle interior air quality application. SIFT-MS eliminates expensive sampling consumables, sample preparation prior to analysis, and delays arising from laboratory-based analysis. Syft Technologies’ instruments are also extremely easy to use and are designed for industrial applications. Combined, these benefits provide instant feedback on the acceptability of every vehicle coming off the production line.

Industry Challenges

  • New VIAQ regulations from China demand greatly increased testing
  • Traditional test methods are slow, complicated, expensive and incompatible with the process line
  • Regulated compound testing requires both LC and GC to quantify aldehydes and VOCs, respectively

How Syft can help

  • Exceed new testing requirements, detecting all compounds using one instrument
  • Reduce labor and consumable costs through simple, economical on-site analysis
  • Selected Ion Flow Tube Mass Spectrometry – SIFT-MS is extensible, meeting diverse future analytical needs in the lab and on the process-line

Rapid, On-site Vehicle Interior Air Quality (VIAQ) testing

SIFT-MS solution provides a very attractive alternative to the GC-MS and HPLC-based methods. In one simple, rapid analysis, all aldehydes and other VOCs required by the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean standards are detected and quantified. The unique ability of SIFT-MS to simultaneously analyze the small, reactive aldehydes and general VOCs in real time arises from the use of ultra-soft ionization and the elimination of chromatographic separation. Example results for three new vehicles from the same manufacturer are shown in figure 1.

Moreover, since SIFT-MS provides ease of use, simple reporting and is a robust, direct analysis technique that requires no sample preparation or preconcentration, it can be used to economically screen all cars coming off the production line. This ensures that any deviations from the standard production specification can be identified immediately, allowing corrective actions to be taken.

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Vehicle Interior Air Quality three cars test

Figure 1. Aldehyde and VOC emissions from three newly imported cars (same manufacturer; three different models). Data are the mean of duplicate measurements and have had the background subtracted (ambient air).

Vehicle Interior Air Quality (VIAQ) measurement using SIFT-MS

Target compounds and maximum permissible concentrations for the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean vehicle Interior Air Quality – VIAQ standards. Typical limit of detection (LOD) for a one-second measurement using a Syft Technologies Voice200ultra SIFT-MS instrument.
CompoundMaximum permissible concentrations / μg m-3LOD / μg m-3
  • High sensitivity and wide linear range (ppt to ppm)
  • Simple, on-site and in-process operation
  • Single analysis of aldehydes and VOCs
  • High throughput analysis easily addresses new regulations

Image of the Syft Voice 200 ultra


SIFT-MS platform capable of high-throughput gas analysis for VOCs and inorganic gases.


Auto-validation inlet allows switching between the sample, the calibration standard, and background gas streams.


Multi-port inlet enables multiple sample streams to be analyzed (e.g. multiple production lines).


Remote operation of the Voice200ultra is supported via industry-standard MODBUS or proprietary Voice Remote Control protocols.


Software package for viewing and analyzing SIFT-MS data from multiple instruments, customizing analyses, and interacting with the Voice200ultra.

Compound Library

Access detection and quantitation parameters for over 1000 compounds to leverage the diverse capability of the platform.

Get in touch for more information on our Vehicle Interior Air Quality solutions

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