Natural Ventilation and Aerosol Particles Dispersion Indoors

Talib Dbouk, Dimitris Drikakis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Aerosol pollutant particles indoors significantly affect public health. The conventional wisdom is that natural ventilation will alleviate the dispersion of airborne or aerosol particles. However, we show that the problem is far more complex and that natural ventilation should be applied under specific conditions to be effective. We performed several simulations of a simplified (and easily reproducible) room with a window opening and aerosol particles stratified layers. Opening a window can scatter particles present in stratified layers indoors and potentially contribute to the degradation of indoor air quality for a significant period of time. Moreover, we show that thermal instabilities arising from the temperature gradients due to temperature differences between the indoor and outdoor environment spread the particles randomly indoors, adversely affecting air quality and architectural design. Recommendations for more efficient natural ventilation minimizing aerosol pollutant particles dispersed indoors are provided.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number5101
    Issue number14
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


    • aerosol hazard particles
    • computational fluid dynamics
    • heat transfer
    • indoor air quality
    • modelling and simulation
    • natural ventilation
    • OpenFOAM


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