Current State of Indoor Air Phytoremediation Using Potted Plants and Green Walls

Samaneh Bandehali, Taghi Miri, Helen Onyeaka, Prashant Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Urban civilization has a high impact on the environment and human health. The pollution level of indoor air can be 2–5 times higher than the outdoor air pollution, and sometimes it reaches up to 100 times or more in natural/mechanical ventilated buildings. Even though people spend about 90% of their time indoors, the importance of indoor air quality is less noticed. Indoor air pollution can be treated with techniques such as chemical purification, ventilation, isolation, and removing pollutions by plants (phytoremediation). Among these techniques, phytoremediation is not given proper attention and, therefore, is the focus of our review paper. Phytoremediation is an affordable and more environmentally friendly means to purify polluted indoor air. Furthermore, studies show that indoor plants can be used to regulate building temperature, decrease noise levels, and alleviate social stress. Sources of indoor air pollutants and their impact on human health are briefly discussed in this paper. The available literature on phytoremediation, including experimental works for removing volatile organic compound (VOC) and particulate matter from the indoor air and associated challenges and opportunities, are reviewed. Phytoremediation of indoor air depends on the physical properties of plants such as interfacial areas, the moisture content, and the type (hydrophobicity) as well as pollutant characteristics such as the size of particulate matter (PM). A comprehensive summary of plant species that can remove pollutants such as VOCs and PM is provided. Sources of indoor air pollutants, as well as their impact on human health, are described. Phytoremediation and its mechanism of cleaning indoor air are discussed. The potential role of green walls and potted-plants for improving indoor air quality is examined. A list of plant species suitable for indoor air phytoremediation is proposed. This review will help in making informed decisions about integrating plants into the interior building design.
Original languageEnglish
Article number473
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2021


  • VOC
  • biofiltration
  • environmental technology
  • indoor air pollution
  • phytoremediation


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