Plants for Sustainable Improvement of Indoor Air Quality

Federico Brilli*, Silvano Fares, Andrea Ghirardo, Pieter de Visser, Vicent Calatayud, Amalia Muñoz, Isabella Annesi-Maesano, Federico Sebastiani, Alessandro Alivernini, Vincenzo Varriale, Flavio Menghini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)


Indoor pollution poses a serious threat to human health. Plants represent a sustainable but underexploited solution to enhance indoor air quality. However, the current selection of plants suitable for indoors fails to consider the physiological processes and mechanisms involved in phytoremediation. Therefore, the capacity of plants to remove indoor air pollutants through stomatal uptake (absorption) and non-stomatal deposition (adsorption) remains largely unknown. Moreover, the effects of the indoor plant-associated microbiome still need to be fully analyzed. Here, we discuss how a combination of the enhanced phytoremediation capacity of plants together with cutting-edge air-cleaning and smart sensor technologies can improve indoor life while reducing energy consumption.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-512
JournalTrends in Plant Science
Issue number6
Early online date19 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


  • air cleaning bio-systems
  • air phytoremediation
  • indoor air quality (IAQ)
  • plant microbiome
  • smart buildings


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