(ORDO NEWS) — French startup Neoplants has unveiled the Neo P1 houseplant genetically engineered to effectively purify the air of harmful VOCs.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, people have been spending a lot of time at home, and interest in indoor air quality has skyrocketed.
Filtration and purification systems that remove dust, soot, bacteria and other small particles from the air are in great demand.
However, almost all of them cannot cope with another pollution factor – volatile organic substances (Volatile Organic Compounds, VOC).
Meanwhile, the negative impact of VOC on health has been shown repeatedly and reliably. They have been linked to an increased risk of lung, cardiovascular, and skin diseases.
At the same time, they can accumulate in the room air in large quantities – at times, and sometimes orders of magnitude greater than outside the window.
The new genetically modified plant Neo P1, the creation of which was recently announced by the French startup Neoplants, is capable of removing VOC from the air.
The work took almost five years, but now the Neoplants website is already accepting pre-orders with the delivery of GM plants in the first quarter of 2023. The cost of one flower is $179.
Neo P1 are derived from the ornamental plant Epipremnum aureum , which has gained great popularity due to its graceful appearance, unpretentiousness, fast growth and absence of pollen.
Genes have been added to the DNA of a flower that allow it to use not only carbon dioxide, but also various VOCs as a source of carbon for photosynthesis and other common reactions.
One of the new metabolic pathways allows Neo P1 to absorb formaldehyde, the other allows benzene, toluene and xylene, turning them into sugars, amino acids and other harmless compounds.
According to the authors, the new flowers are able to remove 30 times more volatile substances from the air than conventional plants. After a couple of days, the VOC content in the room drops thousands of times.
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