Characteristics of potted plants for removing offensive odors

Takashi Oyabu, Ayako Sawada, Takeshi Onodera, Kozaburo Takenaka, Bill Wolverton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Plants have the capability to remove indoor air pollutants and furthermore to decompose odor molecules in an indoor environment. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S), ammonia (NH3) and methyl mercaptan (CH3SH) are the three main offensive odors in a nursing home. It is strongly desired to develop an effective method for reducing those substances. In this study, the pollutant-removing characteristics of a potted plant for three substances, ammonia, formaldehyde and acetone, are examined using a tin oxide gas sensor. As for the results, it became obvious that the removing characteristics for ammonia gas could be indicated using an approximate function of y=aexp(-bx)+c. In this function, the coefficient b stands for the removing effect and c means the offset level of sensor output. The coefficient a stands for the intercept from that level. It can indicate the number of pots and the kind of plants to maintain the clean air quality in an indoor environment. The pothos plant is very available for putting this to practical use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-136
Number of pages6
JournalSensors and Actuators, B: Chemical
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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