Diffusion and Evaporation-Controlled Emission in Ventilated Rooms

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In emission studies reported in literature little effort has been made to investigate the emission from building materials in ventilated enclosures from a fluid dynamics point of view. Furthermore, most of the existing emission models are empirical relations that are based on specific pollutants and sources. This work provides an investigation based on fundamental fluid dynamics and mass transfer theory to obtain a general understanding of the mechanisms involved in the emission from building materials in ventilated rooms. In addition, a generally applicable model for prediction of surface emission is proposed. The interest has been focused on the emission of vapours and gases as no particulate emissions have been considered. The methods used are numerical calculations by computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and full-scale laboratory experiments. It was found that the emission is a strong function of air change rate, local air velocity and local turbulence intensity as the mass transfer coefficient increases in proportion to these parameters. The experimental results moreover exhibit the behaviour of a diffusion-controlled emission process at the end of the experiments. A simplified version of the model proposed was applied to investigate the influence of source diffusion coefficient and air velocity on the concentration distribution. The findings show that the mass transfer coefficient increases in proportion to the velocity when the emission is controlled by evaporation from the surface. As to diffusion-controlled emission the mass transfer coefficient is unaffected by the velocity.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAalborg
PublisherDept. of Building Technology and Structural Engineering, Aalborg University
Number of pages132
Publication statusPublished - 1999
SeriesIndoor Environmental Engineering
NumberThesis no. 11

Bibliographical note

PDF for print: 137 pp.


  • Ventilation
  • Ventilation Systems
  • Emission Models
  • Computatinal Fluid Dynamics
  • CFD
  • Flow
  • Full-Scale Experiments
  • Full-Scale Tests


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