In order for plants to be able to clean the indoor air, they need to be able to absorb the pollutants. This process, for example of VOC (volatile organic compounds) happens two ways, via the leaves and roots.
Absorption via the stomata
The stomata are mostly found on the under-surface of plant leaves Air including fine particles and pollutants enter the leaves through the stomata. Plants also transpire (cellular respriation) thought the stomata. At night and under stress these stomata close in most plants.
Scientific proof though the GSF Forschungszentrum (research lab)
The GSG Forschungszentrum (institute for plant pathology) demonstrated the effectiveness of formaldehyde reduction through the plant inherent enzyme formaldehyde-Dehydrogenase. This was done through radioactive marking of the formaldehyde, which enabled the researches to follow the path of the formaldehyde through the plant.
The scientists demonstrated the conversion of the pollutants into non-toxic nutrients such as glucose and amino acids.
Through the transport system inside the plant, through which for example glucose is transported to the roots, the pollutants are transported to the root system. In the roots the pollutants are excreted through osmosis and provide nutrition to the microorganism and bacteria living at the roots.
Absorption through the roots
The second, far more effective method, for plants to absorb pollutants is via the root system of the plant. In 1989 research conducted by NASA showed that 90% of the air purification of plants remains, even after removing all leaves. The rootlets of the plants also generate the required enzymes and break the pollutants down into glucose, amino acids etc. This is done through rhizoplane (The microenvironment of a root system near the surface) and rhizosphere (the soil region subject to the influence of plant roots and their associated microorganisms). The plant uses the amino acid and glucose as nutrients.
The microorganism living in a symbiotic relationship with the plant in the rhizoplane also assist in breaking down nutrients, regardless if it is in a flower pot or in nature. Why not use this natural air purifying system?
Find out more: Link to air purifying plants.
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