Numerical Investigation of Aerosol Transmission in A Classroom

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  • It has been more than two years since the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our world. Schools cannot be closed forever and now it is the time for everyone to go back to work. Classrooms are among the highest risk places because of their nature. Where many students are sitting for hours and one infected person can pass the disease to many others because of the long exposure time. In this research a classroom occupied with 20 students and a lecturer is considered. An unsteady Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation of two-phase flows based on a Discrete Phase Model (DPM) is carried out to study the spreading of aerosol and droplets in the classroom. The simulation includes momentum and heat between the particles and the air flow. All the 21 simulated humans in the classroom generate heat and also inhale and exhale to mimic living persons. The lecturer generates aerosols and droplets for 15 minutes and when he stops the simulation continues before the next class begins. Transport and surface deposition of various sizes of small aerosols (from 1 μm) and large droplets (up to100 μm) are studied. The result showed that the natural convection flow has a significant effect on the aerosol particles but not much on the large droplets. It has to be included in the numerical simulation of aerosol transport where humans are present in the room. Based on the fallow time study, it is recommended to schedule the lectures with at least a 20 minutes interval to minimize the risk of spread of airborne diseases.

    Part of Proceedings of the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering International Congress 2022

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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International