Assessment of filtration efficiency and physiological responses of selected plant species to indoor air pollutants (toluene and 2-ethylhexanol) under chamber conditions
Three common plant species (Dieffenbachia maculata, Spathiphyllum wallisii, and Asparagus densiflorus) were tested against their capacity to remove the air pollutants toluene (20.0 mg m−3) and 2-ethylhexanol (14.6 mg m−3) under light or under dark in chamber experiments of 48-h duration. Results revealed only limited pollutant filtration capabilities and indicate that aerial plant parts of the tested species are only of limited value for indoor air quality improvement. The removal rate constant ranged for toluene from 3.4 to 5.7 L h−1 m−2 leaf area with no significant differences between plant species or light conditions (light/dark). The values for 2-ethylhexanol were somewhat lower, fluctuating around 2 L h−1 m−2 leaf area for all plant species tested, whereas differences between light and dark were observed for two of the three species. In addition to pollutant removal, CO2 fixation/respiration and transpiration as well as quantum yield were evaluated. These physiological characteristics seem to have no major impact on the VOC removal rate constant. Exposure to toluene or 2-ethylhexanol revealed no or only minor effects on D. maculata and S. wallisii. In contrast, a decrease in quantum yield and CO2 fixation was observed for A. densiflorus when exposed to 2-ethylhexanol or toluene under light, indicating phytotoxic effects in this species.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11356-017-0453-9
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