Use of Plants to Clean Polluted Air: A Potentially Effective and Low-Cost Phytoremediation Technology

Bojing Zhang, Dian Cao, Shengdong Zhu


Air pollution poses a great threat to human health, and it has become a worldwide problem that needs to be urgently dealt with. Many measures have been taken to reduce air pollution and improve air quality. These methods are generally costly and require special equipment. Some plants have the ability to assimilate, degrade, or modify toxic pollutants in air into less toxic ones. It is proposed here to develop plant-based technology to clean polluted air at low cost. This air phytoremediation technology has many potential advantages in contrast with traditional air pollution treatment methods. It is simple, potentially cheap, and easily implemented. Plants to be used for air phytoremediation have the potential to reduce pollutants in air and improve air quality; they also fix carbon dioxide through photosynthesis and help to decrease greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The selected plants can also be used as raw materials for production of energy and bio-based chemicals. However, little research has been carried out on air phytoremediation technology, especially in the basic research area. This editorial gives a brief discussion about air phytoremediation to stimulate more research on this technology and further improve its effectiveness in practical use.


Plants; Air pollution; Air phytoremediation technology

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Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022,; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, URLs:; ISSN: 1930-2126