Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Engineering Technology

First Advisor

William J. Hutzel

Committee Member 1

Brandon E. Boor

Committee Member 2



The research of this thesis developed experiments inside a sealed environmental chamber to examine the effectiveness of a botanical air filter with an assisting fan and a loose-packed growth media (i.e., Biowall) in removing toluene from air. Through injecting a known amount of toluene and continuously monitoring its decay inside the environmental chamber, five different toluene decay rates were quantified: the natural decay rate (empty chamber), the decay rates with the presence of the Biowall for two different fan speeds, and the decay rates with the presence of growth media without the plants for dry and wet conditions. The clean air delivery rates for the Biowall with both fan speeds and the growth media with both conditions were then found through the mass conservation of contaminates equation with respect to the natural decay rate and the chamber’s volume. Additionally, with the reference to ASHRAE 62.2 standard for acceptable ventilation rates for residential buildings, weather data, and typical home sizes, the thesis estimated preliminary potential energy savings in ventilation for different climate zones based on the clean air delivery rates of the Biowall.