Purpose: The purpose of the study is to investigate the dispersion of droplet nuclei/aerosol which are produced during coughing and continuous talking in order to quantify the risk of infection due to airborne disease transmission. Methods: A three-dimensional modelling of aerosol transport due to human respiratory activities such as coughing and talking within a room environment has been simulated using CFD technique. An inert scalar transport equation was used to represent aerosol cloud, while turbulence was modelled with the k-ϵ turbulence model. A modified Wells-Riley equation was used to calculate the risk of infection based on quanta emission concept. Results: The spatial and temporal distribution of aerosol cloud within the room is initially driven by the upward flowing thermal plume surrounding the human, but later driven by the flow field constrained by the walls and cooler air movement. While the cough generated aerosols are concentrated in a smaller space within the room, the continuous talk generated aerosols are distributed throughout the room. Conclusion: Within an indoor environment, 2m distancing will not be enough to protect healthy people from aerosols coming from an infected person due to continuous talking with prolonged exposure.

Cite as

Hossain, M., Chinenye-Kanu, N., Faisal, N., Prathuru, A., Banik, S. & Asim, T. 2022, 'Numerical prediction of the effect of thermal plume of a standing human on the airborne aerosol flow in a room: assessment of the social distancing rule.', Aerosol science and engineering. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41810-022-00165-2

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Last updated: 30 May 2023
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