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(Covid) Virus Risk Simulation

(Covid) Virus Risk Simulation of a Person Breathing Using an Air Ventilation Systems with LBM – Simulations in Process Engineering

Are ventilation systems effective against aerosol emission from breathing?

A typical way of transmitting viruses like SARS-CoV-2 is through saliva aerosol particles which are sprayed in the air by coughing or sneezing but also through breathing. If these droplets are inhaled by another person there is a high infection risk. To minimize the potential risk of transmitting the virus through the air ventilation systems should keep aerosol particles concentrations low.

The simulation is able to show the turbulent flight path of the aerosol stream transmitted by a sitting person. This demonstrates the importance and difficulties of a ventilation systems in order to decrease infection risk by reducing aerosol particle concentrations. 

These videos present the aerosol distributions generated by a breathing human. In every breath, 10,000 particles with diameter of 1 μm are omitted through the mouth. The mesh contains 65.5 millions cells (δx=4.8mm). 10 seconds were simulated using a cluster with 400 cores (20 nodes). The source code is available for download on the OpenLB website. 

The fluid flow in the artificial set-up was validated by means of experments and other simulations. These benchmark was published in “Numerical evaluation of thermal comfort using a large eddy lattice Boltzmann method”, M Siodlaczek, M Gaedtke, S Simonis, M Schweiker, N Homma, MJ Krause, Building and Environment, 107618 .

Data and Simulation: Simon Berg, Fedor Bukreev, Mathias J. Krause