Human-induced particle re-suspension in a room

Roshan C. Oberoi, Jung Il Choi, Jack R. Edwards, Jacky A. Rosati, Jonathan Thornburg, Charles E. Rodes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


A large-eddy simulation/immersed boundary method for particulate flows in an Eulerian framework is utilized to investigate short-term particle re-suspension due to human motion. The simulations involve a human walking through a room, stopping, and then walking in place, causing particles to be re-suspended from a carpet. The carpet layer is modeled as the porous medium and a classical adhesive force model is applied to model the resistance of the carpet-bound material to hydrodynamic forcing. The effects of parameters such as the foot penetration depth and adhesive force coefficient on mass re-suspended during the foot stamping events are examined. Simulations of particulate re-suspension experiments conducted in a room within a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency test house are also described. The simulations vary the type of human motion (stamping in place versus stamping in place with rotation). The results indicate that significant amounts of particulate material are re-suspended from the carpet layer due to the impingement of the feet during the motion event. The net mass re-suspended for human motion with rotation is two times greater than that for the motion without rotation, while the mass of re-suspended small particles is slightly greater than that of large particles. The re-suspension rates are estimated based on several time scales, and the predicted total particle number concentrations at several locations in the room show good agreement with experimental data. The present CFD model can be utilized to predict particle re-suspension rates as induced by human motion, but further work in modeling the fine-scale details of the re-suspension process is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-229
Number of pages14
JournalAerosol Science and Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Mar

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work has been sponsored by the US Environmental Protection Agency under contracts 3C-R310-NTEX and 4C-R138-NAEX. Computer resources were provided by the High Performance Computing component of North Carolina State University’s Information Technology Division (

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Pollution


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