NY98025 - Towards Improving Capacity of Indoor Plants and Potting Mix Components for Indoor Air Pollution Reduction

This report present the results of a two year project on the capacity of indoor pot-plant species to improve indoor air quality by removal of air-borne volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which contaminate the indoor environment. Over 300 Voc’s have been identified in indoor air, and the findings provide the first comprehensive demonstration of the ability of pot-plants to remove these contaminants, and the means by which it is achieved. The results show that it is the microorganisms of the growth medium that are the direct agents of removal. The role of the plants in this process is in developing and sustaining the relevant microbial communities round their roots; differences in response were found among the three plant species investigated. Approximately 50 species of likely potting mix microorganisms have been isolated to date. The findings allow horticulturalists no to promote with confidence the use of pot-plants to help improve indoor air quality. It is also a first step towards developing improved varieties of indoor plants with enhanced air-cleaning abilities, while continuing to beautify the environment. Recommendations for industry are offered, and further research is progress is described.