Modeling-gas phase reactions in indoor environments using computational fluid dynamics

Dan Nørtoft Sørensen, Charles J. Weschler

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This CFD modeling study examines the concentrations of two gaseous compounds that react in an indoor setting to produce a hypothetical product. The reactants are ozone and either d-limonene or alpha-terpinene (which reacts with ozone about 40 times faster than d-limonene). In addition to two different terpenes, the scenarios include two air exchange rates (0.5 and 2.0 h(-1)). The terpene is introduced as a floor source with an emission pattern similar to a floor-care product. These four scenarios have been set in a fairly large two-dimensional room (13.6 x 40.6 m) with a supply at the top of the left wall and an exhaust at the bottom of the right wall. The room has been deliberately scaled so that the Reynolds numbers for key flow regimes match those of a room in which the calculated flow field has been validated against measured data. It has been further assumed that ozone interacts with room surfaces while the terpenes do not. The results show that for all four scenarios, under steady-state conditions, there are large concentration gradients within the room for both reactants and product. To some extent this is due to imperfect mixing. However. it also reflects that reactions occur at different rates across the room (because of varying reactant concentrations) and that the time available for reactions to occur varies with the room location (because the "age of the air" varies from point to point). Locally, within the room, the concentrations calculated by the CFID method differ significantly from those calculated by a one-compartment mass-balance model assuming perfect mixing. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAtmospheric Environment
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)9-18
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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