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The GreenHouse Implications of Some Air Purifiers on Plants

Updated on August 25, 2012

The Unique Relationship between Plants and Air Purifiers

Plants have a unique relationship to the active purification processes that air purifiers replicate from nature. These active processes include ionization, ozone, and PCO (photo catalytic oxidation). Research and studies show that negative ionization on plants increases plant respiration nominally given certain factors are right. What we do know is that in nature all three of these processes work together. When they are all working together in an air purifier, plants like them and in some cases grow towards them. Reports have also surfaced that plant longevity increases in the presence of these technologies working together. But the primary process that plants really love is the photo catalytic oxidation (PCO).

Applications for Air Purifiers with Plants

One of the amazing things about PCO technology is its ability to kill bacteria on surfaces. For florists who deal with a lot of flowers and plant tissue that is no longer connected to a living plant, PCO technology is able to significantly reduce the rate of decay. Some florists have reported as much as $200-400 in savings a week because the longevity of their plant produce is increased and they are no longer throwing it away.

NASA originally developed PCO technology to grow plants in space. There is a huge application here with indoor greenhouses where air purifiers with these processes can not only support the increased health of plants, but also get rid of gases that plants release that are not healthy for humans.

Radiant Catalytic Ionization

Radiant Catalytic Ionization (RCI) is the gold standard of PCO technology. All other PCO technology is measured by it. Research on RCI technology demonstrates its superior effectiveness in killing bacteria and oxidizing gases. It is this technology that is used in both grocery stores and florists that are reporting as much as a 30 percent increase in the longevity of their produce when they use it.

So far as I know though, no one is experimenting with this technology in greenhouses yet. But when I get my green house set up, I will be incorporating this technology. It was Dr. James Marsden from Kansas State University who said and I paraphrase, "If people really understood what this technology does, it would be a breakthrough on the same level as when penicillin was discovered. In my opinion, the benefit to people is great, but so is the benefit to plants.


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