Evaporation of droplets capable of bearing viruses airborne and on hydrophobic surfaces

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Airborne and deposited water microdroplets can carry viruses including coronaviruses. The evaporation of microdroplets containing virus particles often leads to virus inactivation. Microdroplet evaporation involves various mechanisms such as diffusion, the Kelvin effect, infrared irradiation, and the role of solutes. For the evaporation of airborne water microdroplets, temperature and relative humidity of ambient air are important factors. However, for sessile droplets deposited on solid surfaces, wetting and porosity become important factors that control evaporation on regular, superhydrophobic, and photocatalytic surfaces. An experimental study of the effect of wetting properties and porosity on the evaporation rates on the polypropylene non-woven medical fabric was consistent with the theoretical models. Highly porous tile surfaces exhibited 2.2–4 times faster evaporation rates than nonporous surfaces.