Special Issue on COVID-19 Aerosol Drivers, Impacts and Mitigation (XIII)

Yu Feng This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1, Jianan Zhao1, Michele Spinolo2, Kyle Lane2, Darren Leung2, Dave Marshall2, Peter Mlinaric2 

1 School of Chemical Engineering, Oklahoma State University, OK 74078, USA
2 CoV-Eng, 6 Queen Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12TW, UK

Received: October 27, 2020
Revised: December 29, 2020
Accepted: December 30, 2020

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Download Citation: ||https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.200608  

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Cite this article:

Feng, Y., Zhao, J., Spinolo, M., Lane, K., Leung, D.,Marshall, D., Mlinaric, P. (2021). Assessing the Filtration Effectiveness of a Portable Ultraviolet Air Cleaner on Airborne SARS-CoV-2 Laden Droplets in a Patient Room: A Numerical Study. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 21, 200608. https://doi.org/10.4209/aaqr.200608


  • Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 laden droplets in a patient room are simulated.
  • An Euler-Lagrange based CFD model is used to predict evaporation of cough droplets.
  • The portable air sanitizer can filter up to 80% of the airborne virus-laden droplets.
  • Indoor ventilation can strongly impact the airborne virus transmission and filtration.
  • Maximizing the inflow of the air sanitizer will provide the best mitigation effect.


It has been confirmed that SARS-CoV-2 can infect humans via airborne transmission from person to person. Accordingly, there are two concerns about the exhaled airborne SARS-CoV-2 aerosol emitted from the coughs or sneezes of COVID-19 patients: (1) It might infect healthcare providers in the same confined patient rooms; (2) It might enter the main ventilation system and transmit to other patient room as a health threat. Therefore, a portable ultraviolet (UV) air cleaner is designed to mitigate the exposure risks to SARS-CoV-2 laden droplets in the patient room. Using the experimentally validated computational fluid-particle dynamics (CFPD) model, this study simulated the airborne transmission, deposition, and clearance of the COVID-19 virus-laden droplets emitted from a virtual patient in a virtual patient room with realistic ventilation conditions and various operating conditions of the portable UV air cleaner. Parameter analysis was performed to investigate how the ventilation conditions and the operation conditions of the sanitizer can influence the effectiveness of the filtration, which are quantified by the reduction of the concentration of virus-laden droplets suspended in the room and escaped from the room into the main ventilation system. Results indicate that the air cleaner is effective in virus-laden droplets clearance if placed in appropriate locations. In addition, maximizing the ventilation flow rate of the air cleaner will provide the best mitigation effect, with the highest filtration efficiency.

Keywords: COVID-19, Patient room; Portable UV air cleaner, Computational fluid-particle dynamics (CFPD), Cough droplets

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