Mitigation of cross-contamination in an aircraft cabin via localized exhaust

Ryan K. Dygert, Thong Q. Dang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Most aircraft cabin ventilation designs currently use a 50% mix of fresh and recirculated, filtered air and supply approximately 8-10 l/s per person. In order to make the most efficient use of the air supply at hand, the 50% of cabin air that is exhausted from the aircraft should remove with it as much contaminant from within the cabin as possible. This will thereby reduce cross-contamination among passengers and improve overall air quality. This study examines the use of localized suction orifices near and around the source occupant to unobtrusively ingest the individual's thermal plume and exhaust it from the aircraft cabin before contaminants entrained in the plume can significantly mix with the bulk airflow. Through the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), various suction seat designs have been tested for their contaminant removal effectiveness and subsequent cross-contamination reduction. CFD results indicate significant improvements over conventional mixing air ventilation systems with a 40-50% decrease in passenger exposure predicted in a conventional coach-class seating arrangement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2015-2026
Number of pages12
JournalBuilding and Environment
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2010


  • Aircraft cabin
  • Contaminant removal
  • Indoor air quality
  • Local exhaust
  • Personal ventilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction


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