NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Improving the use of mixing factors for dilution ventilation design.

Feigley CE; Bennett JS; Lee E; Khan J
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 2002 May; 17(5):333-343
In specifying dilution ventilation flow rate, a safety factor, K, is often used to provide a margin of safety and to compensate for uncertainties and health impact severity. In current practice, the selection of K is very subjective. Here the component of K accounting for imperfect mixing, Km, was studied to develop more effective and efficient design procedures. Air flow and contaminant distribution in a 10 m x 3 m x 7 m room with a single contaminant source on a 1-m high table were simulated for steady, isothermal conditions using computational fluid dynamics. A series of 10 simulations explored factorial combinations of air exchange rates (1, 2,4, 8, 16 ACH) and inlet types (a high wall jet and a ceiling diffuser). Nine additional simulations explored exhaust opening location effects and 13 other simulations investigated source location effects. Km was calculated at each of 25,600 grid locations within the room by linear regression of emission rate/flow rate (G/Q) on concentration (C). The linear relationship between C and G/Q at each of the points was nearly perfect (R2 > 0.97). For the simulations with varying dilution flow rate, Km ranged from 0.19 to 2.86 for the wall jet and from 0.94 to 4.34 for the ceiling diffuser. Holding G/Q at 100 ppm and varying source and exhaust location produced room average concentrations from 55.7 to 173 ppm. Unlike orthodox design approaches, this work suggests that air monitoring data often can be used to calculate dilution flow rate requirements. Also, dilution flow rate requirements may be reduced by enhancing room mixing with fans or altering air inlet configuration. However, mixing should not be increased if the altered room air currents could transport contaminant to an occupant's breathing zone or interfere with other control methods that depend on segregation of incoming air and contaminant.
Industrial-ventilation; Industrial-hygiene; Engineering; Control-methods; Air-monitoring; Safety-monitoring; Ventilation-systems; Author Keywords: Dilution; Safety Factor; Mixing Factor; Computational Fluid Dynamics; Indoor Air; Industrial Hygiene Engineering; Industrial Ventilation
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, USA
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Issue of Publication
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Research Tools and Approaches: Control Technology and Personal Protective Equipment
Source Name
Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Performing Organization
Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division