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Open AccessArticle

An Assessment of the Suitability of Active Green Walls for NO2 Reduction in Green Buildings Using a Closed-Loop Flow Reactor

1
Plants and Environmental Quality Research Group, School of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2007, Australia
2
Centre for Green Technology, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2007, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(12), 801; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10120801
Received: 22 October 2019 / Revised: 2 December 2019 / Accepted: 10 December 2019 / Published: 11 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Buildings and Indoor Air Quality)
Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is a common urban air pollutant that is associated with several adverse human health effects from both short and long term exposure. Additionally, NO2 is highly reactive and can influence the mixing ratios of nitrogen oxide (NO) and ozone (O3). Active green walls can filter numerous air pollutants whilst using little energy, and are thus a candidate for inclusion in green buildings, however, the remediation of NO2 by active green walls remains untested. This work assessed the capacity of replicate active green walls to filter NO2 at both ambient and elevated concentrations within a closed-loop flow reactor, while the concentrations of NO and O3 were simultaneously monitored. Comparisons of each pollutant’s decay rate were made for green walls containing two plant species (Spathiphyllum wallisii and Syngonium podophyllum) and two lighting conditions (indoor and ultraviolet). Biofilter treatments for both plant species exhibited exponential decay for the biofiltration of all three pollutants at ambient concentrations. Furthermore, both treatments removed elevated concentrations of NO and NO2, (average NO2 clean air delivery rate of 661.32 and 550.8 m3∙h−1∙m−3 of biofilter substrate for the respective plant species), although plant species and lighting conditions influenced the degree of NOx removal. Elevated concentrations of NOx compromised the removal efficiency of O3. Whilst the current work provided evidence that effective filtration of NOx is possible with green wall technology, long-term experiments under in situ conditions are needed to establish practical removal rates and plant health effects from prolonged exposure to air pollution. View Full-Text
Keywords: green building; sustainability; indoor air quality; green wall; living wall; living façade; botanical biofilter; ozone; nitrogen dioxide; potted plant green building; sustainability; indoor air quality; green wall; living wall; living façade; botanical biofilter; ozone; nitrogen dioxide; potted plant
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pettit, T.; Irga, P.J.; Surawski, N.C.; Torpy, F.R. An Assessment of the Suitability of Active Green Walls for NO2 Reduction in Green Buildings Using a Closed-Loop Flow Reactor. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 801. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10120801

AMA Style

Pettit T, Irga PJ, Surawski NC, Torpy FR. An Assessment of the Suitability of Active Green Walls for NO2 Reduction in Green Buildings Using a Closed-Loop Flow Reactor. Atmosphere. 2019; 10(12):801. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10120801

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pettit, Thomas; Irga, Peter J.; Surawski, Nicholas C.; Torpy, Fraser R. 2019. "An Assessment of the Suitability of Active Green Walls for NO2 Reduction in Green Buildings Using a Closed-Loop Flow Reactor" Atmosphere 10, no. 12: 801. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10120801

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