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ALCOVES : Analysis of Volatile Organic Compounds and their Impact on Health and the Environment


The ALCOVES technology platform (Analysis of Volatile Organic Compounds and their Impact on Health and the Environment) is the result of a collaboration between IMT Mines Alès and the laboratories IPREM and UT2A.  

Its aims are to respond to various issues for which it is relevant and necessary to measure VOC and SVOC levels, particularly in the following fields :

  • Innovative (e.g. bio-based) materials
  • Technologies and materials for improving air quality
  • Oxidation processes: air or water treatment
  • New substances and emerging pollutants (new additives etc.)
  • Help in choosing materials for improving the indoor air quality of new construction systems

Main equipement

  • SIFT-MS and specially adapted vehicles for on-site measurement
    (On-line identification and quantification of VOCs)
  • ATD-GC-MS, HS-GC-MS (VOCs in air, liquids, solids)
  • UHPLC (formaldehyde, aldehydes, SVOCs)
  • Online analysers (VOCs, NOx, O3, CO/CO2)
  • Pilot units, reactors, emission test chambers and micro-chambers
  • Climatic and QU-V chambers
ALCOVES - module Qai&Co nobatek
ALCOVES - reacteur M2I
ALCOVES - vieillissement accéléré
ALCOVES - vieillissement naturel

Activities and fields of application

  • Collaborative research
  • Expert assessments
  • Training
  • Service delivery
  • Feasability studies

In the following fields : bâtiment, ameublement, automobile, environnement et énergie, agroalimentaire, cosmétique.

Savoir-faire et expertise scientifique

Analysis of VOCs and SVOCs (passive samplers, sensors and chromatographic techniques)

  • Study of exchanges between materials and air (emission, adsorption, desorption) and between materials
  • Validation and comprehension of advanced oxidation processes (air or water treatment)
  • Assessment of photocatalytic air purification materials and systems
  • Study and modelling of the air quality of indoor environments (buildings, vehicles, etc.)

Recent projects


  • Pheromone diffusers made of biodegradable materials to combat vine and corn pests
  • Innovative agricultural film for fumigation: limitation of VOCs released into the atmosphere, real-scale application
  • SafePHOTOCAT Project: Assessment of the efficacy and innocuousness of commercial photocatalytic indoor air treatment systems
  • SafeMATER Project: Assessment of the emissions and performances of commercial bio-based/depolluting materials regarding indoor air quality
  • Emiflamme Project : assessment of emissions related to exposure to flame retardants in upholstered furniture
  • RESPAL Project: Respiratory health impact of aldehydes studied in mixtures of pollutants representative of indoor air quality.
  • Innovative, fully recyclable, health-risk-free plastic food wrap
  • Study of VOC emissions in function of polymer formulation and the number of times it is recycled (simulation by extrusion)
  • Environmental impact assessment