Formaldehyde removal by common indoor plant species and various growing media

Three porous materials (growstone, expanded clay and activated carbon) were evaluated as hydroponic growing media and for their individual ability to remove the indoor volatile organic compound formaldehyde under three conditions: growing medium alone, dry medium in a pot, and wet medium in a pot. The total percent-reduction of formaldehyde by each growing media was evaluated over a 10 hour period. In all cases, activated carbon achieved the highest removal under the three conditions studied with average percent reductions measured at about 98%. Four common interior plants: Hedera helix (English ivy), Chrysanthemum morifolium (pot mum), Dieffenbachia compacta (dump cane) and Epipremnum aureum (golden pathos) growing in growstone were then tested for their ability to remove formaldehyde. The removal capacity of the aerial plant parts (AP), the root zone (RZ) and the entire plant (EP) growing in growstone were detected by exposing the relevant parts to gaseous formaldehyde (2000 íg m-3) in a closed chamber over a 24-h period. The removal efficiency between species and plant parts were compared by determining the time interval required to decrease about 2/3 of the total formaldehyde concentration reduction, T2/3. The T2/3 measured were 23, 30, 34 and 56 min for EP of C. morifolium, E. aureum, D. compacta and H. helix, respectively. The formaldehyde removal by the root zone was found to be more rapid than the removal by the aerial plant parts.

Authors: Aydogan, Ahu; Montoya, Lupita D. ;Full Source: Atmospheric Environment 2011, 45(16), 2675-2682 (Eng) ;