Correlation between some components of interior plants and their efficiency to reduce formaldehyde, nitrogen and sulfur oxides from indoor air

Posted by Niko Järvinen on Jun 14, 2016
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Authors: ELSadek, M., Koriesh, E., Fujii, E., Moghazy, E. and Abd El Fatah, Y.

Year of publication: 2012

Publication: Int. Res. J. Plant Sci. 2012; 3(10):222-9.

Keywords: chemicals, indoor air pollution, plants,

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The air pollutants selected for this study, formaldehyde (HCHO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and sulfur oxides (SOx), are common indoor air pollutants known to adversely affect human health.

In this research sixteen ornamental plant species, commonly used for interior planting, were screened for their ability to remove these three pollutants. Furthermore, the physical characteristics of the plants were also assessed to identify any relationship they had with pollutant removal efficiency. These characteristics included: chlorophyll, pH, relative water content, leaf osmotic pressure as well as stomatal number, length and width on the lower and upper leaf surfaces.

Randomized trials were conducted with a range of plant species in enclosed growth chambers. Plants were individually placed in the chamber, and the then air infused with either HCHO, NOx or SOx. Plants were left in the chambers for 24 hours.

The research findings indicated, that the greatest removal efficiency were with the following plants:
  • Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) – HCHO 1830 µg day¯¹ and SOx 2120 µg day¯¹
  • Peace lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) - NOx 3200 µg day¯¹
Moreover, it was noted that stomatal density can be used as an efficiency indicator for the absorption of these indoor air pollutants.
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