CFD study of exhaled droplet transmission between occupants under different ventilation strategies in a typical office room

Qibin He, Jianlei Niu, Naiping Gao, Tong Zhu, Jiazheng Wu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

151 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigated the transmission of respiratory droplets between two seated occupants equipped with one type of personalized ventilation (PV) device using round movable panel (RMP) in an office room. The office was ventilated by three different total volume (TV) ventilation strategies, i.e. mixing ventilation (MV), displacement ventilation (DV), and under-floor air distribution (UFAD) system respectively as background ventilation methods. Concentrations of particles with aerodynamic diameters of 0.8 μm, 5 μm, and 16 μm as well as tracer gas were numerically studied in the Eulerian frame. Two indexes, i.e. intake fraction (IF) and concentration uniformity index RCwere introduced to evaluate the performance of ventilation systems. It was found that without PV, DV performed best concern protecting the exposed manikin from the pollutants exhaled by the polluting manikin. In MV when the exposed manikin opened RMP the inhaled air quality could always be improved. In DV and UFAD application of RMP might sometimes, depending on the personalized airflow rate, increase the exposure of the others to the exhaled droplets of tracer gas, 0.8 μm particles, and 5 μm particles from the infected occupants. Application of PV could reduce RCfor all the three TV systems of 0.8 μm and 5 μm particles. PV enhanced mixing degree of particles under DV and UFAD based conditions much stronger than under MV based ones. PV could increase the average concentration in the occupied zone of the exposed manikin as well as provide clean personalized airflow. Whether inhaled air quality could be improved depended on the balance of pros and cons of PV.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-408
Number of pages12
JournalBuilding and Environment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011


  • Aerosol transmission
  • Eulerian drift-flux method
  • Exhaled droplets
  • Ventilation strategy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction


Dive into the research topics of 'CFD study of exhaled droplet transmission between occupants under different ventilation strategies in a typical office room'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this