Numerical investigation of the interaction, transport and deposition of multicomponent droplets in a simple mouth-throat model
A basic analysis of inhaled multicomponent droplet-vapor interaction and subsequent aerosol deposition is very important for the understanding of natural phenomena as well as for health-care related applications. Employing a highly idealized mouth-throat (MT) model as a test bed, the transport and deposition mechanisms of a water-droplet are simulated, considering ethanol, sodium chloride and fluorescein as components. The flow-field equations are solved with a validated transition SST model which can predict the effects of flow rate, relative humidity (RH), and wet vs. dry airway walls on aerosol deposition efficiency (DE). The simulation results indicate that the hygroscopic growth of sodium chloride particles is sensitive to the saturation pressure of water vapor. A high flow rate decreases the RH in the airways as well as the average growth ratios of deposited and escaped droplets; but, still increases the DE. When compared to a dry boundary condition, the wet airway-wall increases the DE up to 4.6% when RH=30% and the flow rate is 60L/min. It also increases the average growth ratio of deposited droplets notably, i.e., larger than 0.5 for most conditions, while its effect on the average growth ratio of deposited droplets is not apparent. A high inlet RH can significantly enhance the hygroscopic growth of the droplets and DE, especially when it is larger than the RH threshold for the hygroscopic component. Besides, it can elevate the growth ratios of deposited and escaped droplets at the same time, which could be utilized to reduce the deposition of submicron hygroscopic aerosol in the upper airway.
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