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An overview of solutions for airborne viral transmission reduction related to HVAC systems including liquid desiccant air-scrubbing

Giampieri, A.; Ma, Z.; Ling-Chin, J.; Roskilly, A.P.; Smallbone, A.J.

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Abstract

The spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 affects the health of people and the economy worldwide. As air transmits the virus, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems in buildings, enclosed spaces and public transport play a significant role in limiting the transmission of airborne pathogens at the expenses of increased energy consumption and possibly reduced thermal comfort. On the other hand, liquid desiccant technology could be adopted as an air scrubber to increase indoor air quality and inactivate pathogens through temperature and humidity control, making them less favourable to the growth, proliferation and infectivity of microorganisms. The objectives of this study are to review the role of HVAC in airborne viral transmission, estimate its energy penalty associated with the adoption of HVAC for transmission reduction and understand the potential of liquid desiccant technology. Factors affecting the inactivation of pathogens by liquid desiccant solutions and possible modifications to increase their heat and mass transfer and sanitising characteristics are also described, followed by an economic evaluation. It is concluded that the liquid desiccant technology could be beneficial in buildings (requiring humidity control or moisture removal in particular when viruses are likely to present) or in high-footfall enclosed spaces (during virus outbreaks).

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 20, 2021
Online Publication Date Feb 15, 2022
Publication Date Apr 1, 2022
Deposit Date Nov 22, 2021
Publicly Available Date Nov 22, 2021
Journal Energy
Print ISSN 0360-5442
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 244
Issue Part A
Article Number 122709
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.energy.2021.122709
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1221056

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