In this paper, we propose a theoretical model to simulate microbial growth on contaminated air filters and entrainment of bioaerosols from the filters to an indoor environment. Air filter filtration and antimicrobial efficiencies, and effects of dust particles on these efficiencies, were evaluated. The number of bioaerosols downstream of the filter could be characterized according to three phases: initial, transitional, and stationary. In the initial phase, the number was determined by filtration efficiency, the concentration of dust particles entering the filter, and the flow rate. During the transitional phase, the number of bioaerosols gradually increased up to the stationary phase, at which point no further increase was observed. The antimicrobial efficiency and flow rate were the dominant parameters affecting the number of bioaerosols downstream of the filter in the transitional and stationary phase, respectively. It was found that the nutrient fraction of dust particles entering the filter caused a significant change in the number of bioaerosols in both the transitional and stationary phases. The proposed model would be a solution for predicting the air filter life cycle in terms of microbiological activity by simulating the microbial contamination of the filter.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)