Particle resuspension is an important source of particulate matter in indoor environments that significantly affects the indoor air quality and could potentially have adverse effect on human health. Earlier efforts to investigate indoor particle resuspension hypothesized that high speed airflow generated at the floor level during the gate cycle is the main cause of particle resuspension. The resuspended particles are then assumed to be dispersed by the airflow in the room, which is impacted by both the ventilation and the occupant movement, leading to increased PM concentration.
In this study, a three dimensional model of a room was developed using FLUENT™ CFD package. A RANS approach with the RNG k-ε turbulence model was used for simulating the airflow field in the room for different ventilation conditions. The trajectories of resuspended particulate matter were computed with a Lagrangian method by solving the equations of particle motion. The effect of turbulent dispersion was included with the use of the eddy lifetime model. The resuspension of particles due to gait cycle was estimated and included in the computational model. The dispersion and transport of particles resuspended from flooring as well as particle re-deposition on flooring and walls were simulated. Particle concentrations in the room generated by the resuspension process were evaluated and the results were compared with experimental chamber study data as well as simplified model predictions, and good agreement was found.