The Largest Living Bio-Filter in North America Using Hydroponics

Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building

As we honor National Chemistry Week, we wanted to highlight the largest living bio-filter system in North America. In the new Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building on the West Philadelphia campus of Drexel University, you will find a bio-filtration laboratory that features a visually captivating wall of plants. The meandering wall of plants that extends upward by five stories includes Algerian Ivy, Ficus and Hibiscus. This network of vegetation grows hydroponically between two layers of material with the texture of a Brillo pad and without soil. The root system acts as a giant air filter and removes indoor pollutants and contaminants. As air is drawn into the wall and passes through the wall, it comes in contact with water.

Hydroponics is the technology of growing plants by using mineral nutrient solutions in water without using soil. The air has chemicals in it and when these chemicals encounter the water, they are absorbed in the root system of the plants. According to research, bacteria and fungi live on the roots of the plants and eat those chemicals, then remove them from the air.

When you can incorporate natural air filtration in your home by using plants to compliment your furnace air filtration system, then you will help to remove the airborne pollutants and contaminants that plague your indoor air and affect your breathing. Make sure that anything problematic with your indoor air such as smoking, dust or routinely changing your indoor air filters is tackled first. Many people are beginning to utilize aquaculture and hydroponics, as they create their indoor residential bio-filtration system with plants. Being proactive by improving the quality of the indoor air you breathe, will help to reduce allergies and other breathing-related problems that could significantly increase your medical costs.