Can hydroculture be used to enhance the performance of indoor plants for the removal of air pollutants?

Publisher:
Elsevier
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Atmospheric Environment, 2013, 77 (1), pp. 267 - 271
Issue Date:
2013-01
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The indoor plant, Syngonium podophyllum, grown in both conventional potting mix and hydroculture, was investigated for its capacity to reduce two components of indoor air pollution; volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and CO2. It was found that, with a moderate increase in indoor light intensity, this species removed significant amounts of CO2 from test chambers, removing up to 61% 2.2 of 1000 ppmv over a 40 min period. It was also found that the hydroculture growth medium facilitated increased CO2 removal over potting mix. The VOC removing potential of hydroculture plants was also demonstrated. Whilst the rate of VOC (benzene) removal was slightly lower for hydroculture-grown plants than those grown in potting mix, both removed 25 ppmv from the test chambers within 7 days. The effect of benzene on the community level physiological profiles of rhizospheric bacteria was also assessed. There was less variability in the carbon substrate utilisation profile of the bacterial community from the rhizosphere of hydroculture plants compared to potting mix, however the species present encompassed at least those involved with VOC removal. Overall, we propose that plants grown in hydroculture can simultaneously deplete CO2 and VOCs, and thus may have potential for improving indoor air quality.
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