Formaldehyde and TVOC measurements using the BQ16

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BQ16 HCHO/TVOC measuring device

Precise detection of formaldehyde and VOC concentrations for air quality assessments

Whether at home, at the office or workplace, in public institutions, schools and kindergartens – wherever people stay indoors for any length of time, clean, uncontaminated air is a health-preserving necessity.

Unfortunately, one cannot judge the atmospheric pollution at a glance, but at least measure it: using the HCHO/TVOC measuring device BQ16 from Trotec.

Dual real-value display for HCHO and TVOC

Formaldehyde (HCHO) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) are certainly the most common and the most dangerous substance groups with regard to indoor air exposure.

For this reason both concentrations can be measured simultaneously in real time using the BQ16 to ensure that the room air pollution is harmless. The BQ16 detects even minor concentrations of as low as 0.01 ppm or 0.01 mg/m³.

German legislature mostly defines limit values in either mg/m³ or ppm (parts per million). As a result, the BQ16 was designed to optionally also indicate all measured values in either mg/m³ or ppm at the push of a button.

Using the BQ16 is agreeably easy: Upon switch-on the measuring device automatically determines the prevailing HCHO and TVOC concentrations. Both measured values are simultaneously indicated on the easily legible display of the BQ16 with on-demand background illumination.

Thanks to the integrated MIN, MAX and HOLD functions you can view the minimum or maximum value at any time during the measurement and even hold the currently measured value if needed. For battery-saving operation this practical measuring device is further equipped with an automatic switch-off function.

A few practical benefits:

  • Development, design, production: 100 % Trotec
  • Compact air quality measuring device for the detection of formaldehyde and VOC concentrations in the room air
  • Determination of measured values in ppm or mg/m³
  • Dual real-value display for HCHO and TVOC
  • MAX, MIN and HOLD function
  • Illuminable display
  • Soft touch function keys
  • Automatic switch-off
  • Practice-optimized German industrial design - protected design patent
The BQ16 from Trotec
The BQ16 from Trotec
The BQ16 from Trotec

New things should stimulate the senses, but not be harmful or irritating to eyes, nose or health

New flat, new furniture, new coat of paint, new carpet, new laminate or a new car. New things should bring pleasure, not pathogens. But many modern materials are host to the hazardous formaldehyde and a great number of volatile organic compounds. Hence, use the BQ16 for a safe risk assessment in your own quarters, at the workplace, in your car or directly at the local store, e.g. when purchasing furniture or construction materials.

Detection of formaldehyde (HCHO)

Formaldehyde (HCHO)

Methanal – also known as formaldehyde – is the chemical precursor for many industrial products ranging from varnishes or paints to adhesives and binding agents, even preservatives.

Many materials containing formaldehyde, e.g. wood-based materials, flooring or textiles, can contaminate the breathing air in closed rooms for a long time through outgassing.

Classified as carcinogenic

Owing to its particular toxicity, formaldehyde was classified as category 1B carcinogen in accordance with the European Chemicals Directive (CLP) – as presumed to have carcinogenic potential for humans.

Following the guideline of the German Federal Environment Agency, a formaldehyde concentration of 0.1 mg per cubic metre of indoor air is not to be exceeded – not even for a brief period!

With a measuring range of 0.00 to 5.00 ppm and a resolution of 0.01 ppm the BQ16 permits the detection of even minor formaldehyde concentrations in the room air.

Formaldehyde – concentration-dependent effects
0.05 - 0.125 ppm Odour threshold
0.01 - 1.6 ppm Irritation of mucous membranes (nose, throat) and eyes
2 - 3 ppm Stinging in the nose, eyes, throat
4 - 5 ppm Bearable for 30 minutes, increasing discomfort, lacrimation
10 - 20 ppm Strong lacrimation already after a few minutes of exposure (lasting for up to 1 hour after exposure), immediate breathlessness, coughing, severe burning in throat, nose and eyes
30 ppm Toxic pulmonary oedema, pneumonia, risk of death!
Detection of air pollutant mixtures (VOC/TVOC)

Mixture of air pollutants (VOC/TVOC)

VOC are substances, that evaporate already at low temperatures – hence "volatilize" into the gaseous state – and thus pollute the air. Which is why they are referred to as volatile organic compounds and measured as the cumulative value TVOC (total volatile organic compounds) with recommended maximum values from the Federal Environment Agency.

Manifold VOC sources can be found indoors, e.g. flooring and floor coating, paints and varnishes, sealings and adhesives, furniture and carpets. People can be taken chronically ill by VOC-polluted indoor air. This is also called the "sick building syndrome".

Owing to the complexity of VOCs, both the individual health effects on the human body and their intensity can be different and vary greatly in certain cases. Therefore, the TVOC concentration and its effects are purely indicative.

According to the Federal Environment Agency, the air in rooms intended for long-term stays must not permanently exceed a TVOC value ranging between 1 and 3 mg/m³.

With its measuring range of 0.00 to 9.99 mg/m³and a resolution of 0.01 mg/m³ the BQ16 reliably detects even minor VOC concentrations in the room air.

TVOC – concentration-dependent effects
< 0.2 mg/m³ No irritation or impairment of well-being
0.2 - 3.0 mg/m³ Irritation or impairment of well-being possible in case of interaction with other exposure parameters
3.0 - 25 mg/m³ Exposure results in an effect; headaches possible in case of interaction with other exposure parameters
> 25 mg/m³ Headaches; other neurotoxic effects apart from headaches possible

Source: Federal Environment Agency


HCHO / TVOC Messgerät BQ16 show in Trotec online shop

HCHO / TVOC Messgerät BQ16

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Technical data

Technical data
General information
  Article number 3.510.205.090
HCHO (formaldehyde)
  Min. measuring range | Formaldehyde [ppm] 0
  Max. measuring range | Formaldehyde [ppm] 5
  Resolution | Formaldehyde [ppm] 0.01
  Min. measuring range | Formaldehyde [mg/m³] 0
  Max. measuring range | Formaldehyde [mg/m³] 5
  Resolution  | Formaldehyde [mg/m³] 0.01
  Accuracy ± | Formaldehyde [% FS (full scale)] 5
TVOC (total volatile organic compounds)
  Min. measuring range  | TVOC [ppm] 0
  Max. measuring range  | TVOC [ppm] 9.99
  Resolution  | TVOC [ppm] 0.01
  Min. measuring range | TVOC [mg/m³] 0
  Max. measuring range | TVOC [mg/m³] 9.99
  Resolution  | TVOC [mg/m³] 0.01
  Accuracy ± | TVOC [% FS (full scale)] 10
  Dual LCD, 3-digit
  Backlit display
Power supply
  Battery type 1 x 9 V battery
Housing design
Ambient conditions
  Min. operation | temperature [°C] 0
  Max. operation | temperature [°C] 50
  Operation – max. relative humidity (non-condensing) [%] 80
  Storage - min. temperature [°C] -10
  Storage - max. temperature [°C] 60
  Storage - max. relative humidity (non-condensing) [%] 80
  Length (packaging excluded) [mm] 35
  Width (packaging excluded) [mm] 55
  Height (packaging excluded) [mm] 230
Equipment, features and functions
Internal sensors
Functions and features
  Minimum value display
  Maximum value display
  Real-time measured value indication
  Measured value hold function
  Automatic switch-off
  Backlit display
  Battery status indication
Standard scope of delivery
Standard scope of delivery
  Measuring device
  Storage case
  Getting started guide
Ascertainable measured values and functions
Internal sensors
Functions and features
  Minimum value display
  Maximum value display
  Real-time measured value indication
  Measured value hold function
  Automatic switch-off
  Backlit display
  Battery status indication

 standard equipment

 optionally available

 not available

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