Airborne transmission of virus-laden aerosols inside a music classroom: Effects of portable purifiers and aerosol injection rates

Sai Ranjeet Narayanan, Suo Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has shifted attention to the airborne transmission of exhaled droplet nuclei within indoor environments. The spread of aerosols through singing and musical instruments in music performances has necessitated precautionary methods such as masks and portable purifiers. This study investigates the effects of placing portable air purifiers at different locations inside a classroom and the effects of different aerosol injection rates (e.g., with and without masks, different musical instruments, and different injection modes). Aerosol deposition, airborne concentration, and removal are analyzed in this study. It was found that using purifiers could help in achieving ventilation rates close to the prescribed values by the World Health Organization, while also achieving aerosol removal times within the Center of Disease Control and Prevention recommended guidelines. This could help in deciding break periods between classroom sessions, which was around 25 min through this study. Moreover, proper placement of purifiers could offer significant advantages in reducing airborne aerosol numbers (offering several orders of magnitude higher aerosol removal when compared to nearly zero removal when having no purifiers), and improper placement of the purifiers could worsen the situation. This study suggests the purifier to be placed close to the injector to yield a benefit and away from the people to be protected. The injection rate was found to have an almost linear correlation with the average airborne aerosol suspension rate and deposition rate, which could be used to predict the trends for scenarios with other injection rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number033307
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the University of Minnesota School of Music. The authors would like to thank Peter Remiger and Michael Kim from the School of Music for their valuable inputs and helpful discussions. Convergent Science provided CONVERGE licenses and technical support for this work.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Author(s).


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