(348a) Indoor Transport of Aerosolized Respiratory Droplets in Multiroom Buildings | AIChE

(348a) Indoor Transport of Aerosolized Respiratory Droplets in Multiroom Buildings


Pease, L. - Presenter, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Salsbury, T., PNNL
Burns, C. A., Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Here we describe our investigations into how virus laden respiratory droplets transport in multi-room buildings served by a centralized ventilation system. Even as many countries refine COVID-19 protocols, the pandemic and other respiratory diseases continue to persist worldwide. Most transmission has been measured and attributed to indoor air spread of virus laden respiratory droplets, yet most models of aerosolized droplet transport through buildings only consider one isolated room (without the interconnectivity of a modern air handling system) and do not take into account the chemical complexity of respiratory droplets (e.g., by assuming respiratory droplets are analogous to salt water droplets without mucus). This raises several important questions. How do air handling systems affect the spread of respiratory droplets? How do ventilation rates, air filtration, and outdoor air intake affect probabilities of infection in multiroom buildings? How can mucus affect the persistence of enveloped viruses that need to remain hydrated to maintain infectivity? What steps can be taken to minimize infectivity within buildings? This presentation addresses these important questions.