There has been increasing interest in the use of upper-room ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) because of its proven effectiveness in disinfecting airborne pathogens. An improved drift flux mathematical model is developed for optimizing the design of indoor upper-room UVGI systems by predicting the distribution and inactivation of bioaerosols in a ventilation room equipped with a UVGI system. The model takes into account several bacteria removal mechanisms such as convection, turbulent diffusion, deposition and UV inactivation. Before applying the model, the natural die-off rate and susceptibility constants of bioaerosols were measured experimentally. Two bacteria aerosols, Escherichia coli and Serratia marcescens, were tested for this purpose. It was found out that the general decay trend of the bioaerosol concentration predicted by the numerical model agrees well with the experimental measurements. The modelling results agree better with experimental observations for the case when the UVGI inactivation mechanism dominates at the upper-room region than for the case without UVGI. The numerical results also illustrate that the spatial distribution of airborne bacteria was influenced by both air-flow pattern and irradiance distribution. In addition to predicting the local variation of concentration, the model assesses the overall performance of an upper-room UVGI system. This model has great potential for optimizing the design of indoor an upper-room UVGI systems.
- ultraviolet germicidal irradiation
- air disinfection