A transfer function model to describe odor causing VOCs transport in a ventilated airspace with mixing/adsorption heterogeneity

Chung Min Liao, Jein Wen Chen, Jui Sheng Chen, Huang Min Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The ability of a transfer function modeling technique is evaluated to explain the odor causing VOCs (VOC-odor) transport processes influenced by heterogeneity of adsorption surface of ambient aerosol and air mixing pattern in a ventilated airspace. An advection-reaction impulse/step response function is used to generalize the dynamic transport of VOC-odor in heterogenous mixing/adsorption ventilated airspace. The system process presented by an ensemble transfer function is solved analytically in the Laplace domain. The model requires the specification of probability density function (pdf) for residence time of airflow and for both equilibrium linear partitioning and first-order mass transfer rate parameters of gas/solid phase to quantify the specific air mixing pattern and transport processes. The model predicts the ensemble mean VOC-odor concentrations for a variety of adsorption kinetics and mixing pattern combinations as a function of the boundary impulse/step response inputs as well as residence time and adsorption rate statistics. The general behavior of output VOC-odor profiles is analyzed through the effects of mean adsorption rate coefficient, mean linear partitioning constant, mixing effeciency, mean residence time and coefficient of variations of both linear partitioning and rate coefficients. This study indicates that when mixing/adsorption heterogeneity exists, simple complete mixing assumption and simple distribution of rate constant are inherently not sufficient to represent a more generally distributed mixing/adsorption process of VOC-odor transport in a ventilated airspace.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1071-1087
Number of pages17
JournalApplied Mathematical Modelling
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2001


  • Adsorption
  • Heterogeneity
  • Mixing
  • Odor
  • Transfer function
  • VOCs


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