Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Tracy Thatcher


Acute indoor concentrations of benzene and ethanol were evaluated in the California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo’s pilot winery workroom. Air samples were collected during four different wine-making activities: fermentation, fermentation with Brix content testing, post-alcoholic fermentation pressing, and storage/finishing. Average workroom benzene concentrations ranged from 0.05 to 0.12 mg/m3. Ethanol concentrations in the winery workroom varied with the activity, ranging from 0.9 to 12 mg/m3. Pressing and fermentation with Brix content testing both led to higher indoor ethanol concentrations than fermentation without Brix content testing and storage/finishing.

Tracer gas decay air exchange tests were conducted to determine the air exchange rate of the winery workroom. A single-space mass-balance model was used to estimate the air exchange rate for the entire workroom. The calculated air exchange rates were correlated with wind speeds and wind direction to create a linear model estimating air exchange rates based on wind speed. These air exchange rates and the indoor concentrations of ethanol were used with the single-space mass-balance model to calculate an ethanol emission rate for each activity. Total estimated ethanol emissions for the four activities were 3.1 lbs. ethanol per 1000 gallons of wine produced.