Do Plants Clean the Air? The Future of Air Purifying Plants
Let’s be honest: plants are awesome. These green leafy living organisms don’t only look great on your windowsill but are an essential resource — we rely on them for food, medicine, habitat, our climate, and more.
Plus, recent studies have proven that houseplants offer health benefits like improving concentration and productivity, reducing stress levels, and boosting your mood. But that’s not all — scientists investigated the capacity of plants to reduce air pollution, and found that plants do have some compelling air purification capacities.
Interested in learning more? Neoplants has you covered. Whether you’re on a mission to improve the air quality in a large room or a small living space, this article will tell you everything you need to know about how a plant can become an air cleaner.
What Are Air Pollutants?
Air pollution can be understood as the contamination of several sources by any physical, chemical, or biological agent that changes the natural characteristics of the atmosphere and that has a negative impact on the environment, or our health — so, what exactly are air pollutants?
In short, air pollutants are small substances in the air that have the potential to harm human beings, animals, plants, and even buildings. These pollutants take various forms, such as gases, small or large particles, or liquid droplets, and infiltrate the fresh air we breathe.
Although there are many, the U.S. Clean Air Act requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish National Ambient Air Quality Standards for six common air pollutants. These air sabotagers are found all over the world. The six pollutants are as follows:
- Particulate matter (aka particle pollution)
- Ground-level ozone
- Carbon monoxide
- Sulfur dioxide
- Nitrogen dioxide
These pollutants can come from several sources, but most air pollution is created by humans and human activity, taking the form of emissions from factories, planes, cars, cigarette smoke, or aerosol cans. Other things that can pollute the air include wildfires, dust mites, mold spores, wood-burning fireplaces, and even pet dander or pet hair.
When released into the environment, ambient air quality decreases, leaving folks susceptible to the many symptoms and side effects notoriously caused by air pollution, such as an increased risk of respiratory infections, heart disease, and lung cancer, just to name a few.
Reducing air pollutants is of the utmost importance — especially considering that indoor air pollution is up to five times higher than outdoor air pollution.
Can Houseplants Remove Indoor Air Pollution?
The EPA reports that Americans spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors, where pollutant levels can be significantly greater than outside air — and that’s just one of the many reasons why it’s so important to ensure clean indoor air.
You could look into an energy-efficient filtration system (such as an air purifier with a washable HEPA filter) to help trap and remove pollutants and allergens. However, there’s a catch — you need to make sure you have an adequate system for your specific room size, in addition to changing out the air purifier filter regularly via replacement filters.
Plus, harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are far too small to filter out, meaning if you get a portable air purifier with HEPA filtration, the breathing air in your indoor spaces can still be compromised.
Even the best air purifiers can still leave your breathing air at a less-than-ideal level of pollution.
Fortunately, we have plants. Through photosynthesis, plants convert light and carbon dioxide (CO2) into food to fuel growth and release oxygen (O2) along the way. And in addition to removing CO2 and creating O2, some plants absorb other pollutants, leaving the ambient air a little cleaner.
That said, the truth is that you’d need many houseplants to have any real impact. In one study, several potted plants were tested, and snake plants and spider plants were among the best performing against VOCs.
At Neoplants, we used the same experimental setup to compare Neo P1 to the best performing houseplants and assess its capacity to remove VOCs — and results showed that Neo P1 is up to 30 times better than even the best potted plants.
How Do Neoplants Work?
Neoplants are plants designed to fight air pollution by capturing and recycling VOCs like toluene, benzene, xylene, and formaldehyde from the air so you and your family can breathe a little easier. In other words, it's like an air purifier — with greenery.
Thanks to genetic engineering of the Golden Pothos, our revolutionary Neo P1 plant, the first and only bioengineered plant to purify indoor air, works to recycle toxic VOCs into amino acids, and sugar.
All plants typically metabolize CO2 — but the DNA of our revolutionary plant has been meticulously engineered to add new enzymes that can also metabolize VOCs.
A product of cutting-edge biological sciences and proven to clean your home’s ambient air (which is more than can be said for air purifying machines), Neo P1 captures and recycles VOCs with unprecedented efficiency so that you can rest easy knowing that the air you breathe is a little cleaner.
In order to increase Neo P1’s purifying capacity, it operates in tandem with its own unique microbiome, which is found in the soil close to the plant’s roots. It is this incredible microbiome that we’ve added to Neo P1 that increases its air-purifying capacity.
Maximize Passive Airflow
Neo P1 also includes an innovative shell made from eco-friendly, biodegradable PLA Flax.
This shell is masterfully-crafted with air vents located on the bottom to maximize the exchange of air between the room and the soil, while also increasing root growth and maintaining Neo P1’s overall health.
So, how does Neo P1 compare to other houseplants?
We’ll be honest — when it comes to cleaning ambient air, Neo P1 simply can’t be beat, as it’s been carefully bioengineered by our incredible team of scientists to target, capture and recycle some of the most dangerous indoor pollutants.
Some houseplants are able to capture pollutants, but Neo P1 operates with a new set of enzymes, microbiome, and a unique planter design that make it 30 times more efficient than the best purifying houseplant. And unlike regular plants that typically metabolize CO2, Neo P1 converts VOCs into useful metabolites, making it an incredibly powerful plant and an elegant way to purify the air.
In short, Neo P1 is up to 30 times more powerful than most air-purifying houseplants. Plus, it’s good for the environment and gorgeous for your home. We’ve engineered a new era of plants, and Neo P1 is the first of its kind.
Breathe Easy With Neoplants
Unless you have a ton of regular potted plants around your home, chances are your green leafy babies aren’t doing much in terms of combating air pollution.
So if you’re relying on a houseplant or two to reduce levels of volatile organic compounds in your home (which are commonly found in household products, personal care items, and building materials), you may want to consider other methods to clean the air — such as Neo P1.
Bioengineered to efficiently capture and recycle the most dangerous VOCs, Neo P1 results from cutting-edge metabolism engineering and directed evolution of beneficial bacterial strains, forming Neo P1’s microbiome.
The combination of these two features enabled us to drastically increase the plant's air purification power and capabilities. As a result, we bring you Neo P1 — the world’s first and only plant designed to purify the air in your home.
Join us in our mission to bring this radically new way of breathing cleaner air to life. And don’t forget to join our waitlist to have a chance to get Neo P1 when our pre-orders open!
Interaction with indoor plants may reduce psychological and physiological stress by suppressing autonomic nervous system activity in young adults: a randomized crossover study | PMC
Air pollution | WHO
OECD Glossary of Statistical Terms - Air pollutants Definition | OECD
Health consequences of air pollution on populations | WHO
Indoor Air Quality | US EPA
Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution Abatement | NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)