Distribution of Exhaled Contaminants and Personal Exposure in a Room using Three Different Air Distribution Strategies

Inés Olmedo, Peter V. Nielsen, M. Ruiz de Adana, Rasmus Lund Jensen, Piotr Grzelecki

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

95 Citations (Scopus)


The level of exposure to human exhaled contaminants in a room depends not only on the air distribution system but also on people’s different positions, the distance between them, people’s activity level and height, direction of exhalation, and the surrounding temperature and temperature gradient. Human exhalation is studied in detail for different distribution systems: displacement and mixing ventilation as well as a system without mechanical ventilation. Two thermal manikins breathing through the mouth are used to simulate the exposure to human exhaled contaminants. The position and distance between the manikins are changed to study the influence on the level of exposure. The results show that the air exhaled by a manikin flows a longer distance with a higher concentration in case of displacement ventilation than in the other two cases, indicating a significant exposure to the contaminants for one person positioned in front of another. However, in all three cases, the exhalation flow of the source penetrates the thermal plume, causing an increase in the concentration of contaminants in front of the target person. The results are significantly dependent on the distance and position between the two manikins in all three cases.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIndoor Air
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)64–76
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Personal Exposure
  • Human Breathing
  • Thermal Manikins
  • Displacement Ventilation


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