Air Purifier uses plants to clear the air
1971. Apollo 13 almost didn’t make it back home. We’ve all seen the movie. But it wasn’t the explosion that nearly killed the astronauts, it was rising levels of CO2 which would kill them within hours. They had plenty of oxygen, but the filters that scrubbed the atmosphere in the lunar model (now a lifeboat) were quickly becoming saturated and the filters in the dead command module wouldn’t fit. So, NASA Engineers had to quickly find a way to make a square peg literally fit into around hole. Now, why am I tell you all this? Glad you asked. NASA learned their lesson and based upon that exerperience came the Bel-Air Air Purification System which uses plants to clean the air. Here’s how it works.
In a design that looks like a cross between a planter and filter helmet, the Bel-Air bathes the plants in a humid, self contained chamber. Dirty air is pumped through it and the plant itself scrubs the air clean of carbon dioxide and danger chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde. The result is plain old fresh air thanks to Photosynthesis (it’s not just a good idea, it’s the law).
Although the Bel-Air Purification system is currently only a prototype, the designer, Mathieu Lehanneur hopes to bring it to the home air purification market by 2009. Meanwhile, beginning this January, visitors to the New York Museum of Modern Art can check it out as part of the Design and the Elastic Mind exhibition.
Source: The Giz