Lehrstuhl für Mechanische Verfahrenstechnik (MVT)

Mechanism of indoor aerosol spread considering particle interactions and drying kinetics

Contact: Fabian Krull and Maximilian Kerner

Funding: DFG

In connection with the corona pandemic, in order to minimize risk of the infection, a precise understanding of the indoor aerosol spreading mechanisms is required. The aim of this research project is the experimental characterization of the spreading mechanisms of potentially virus-containing aerosols in the air, considering the drying kinetics and dynamic interactions of the particles. Besides the known transmission routes of infectious diseases via droplets, this project will investigate another possibility of transmission, where the virus can attach to the solid residues (nuclei) of vaporized aerosol droplets and dust from the air and can be transported over long distances.
The following research questions will be investigated:

  • What is the spreading behavior of a saliva aerosol in a real room air environment?
  • What is the drying kinetics of the saliva droplets in air as a function of dust concentration? What is the morphology of the residual substances after evaporation?
  • What interactions do the droplets and droplet nuclei exhibit with the airborne particles after evaporation? How do the dust particles influence the spreading of the aerosol?

In this project, extensive experimental investigations of the aerosol spreading considering drying kinetics of droplets and their interactions with fine dust particles will be performed. Through this investigation, the basic physical mechanism and effect will be understood that influence the spreading of potentially virus-containing aerosols in a room. Based on this knowledge, a generally applicable physical model of aerosol spreading can be developed in subsequent projects.

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