Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

William J. Hutzel

Committee Member 1

Michael N. Dana

Committee Member 2

Ming Qu


According to the U.S. EPA, the average American spends 90% of their time indoors where pollutants are two to five times more prevalent than outside. The consequences of these pollutants are estimated to cost the U.S. 125 billion dollars in lost health and productivity. Background literature suggests botanical air filtration may be able to solve this problem by leveraging the natural ability of plants to purify indoor air. By improving indoor air quality, energy consumption can also be reduced by bringing in less outside air to dilute contaminants within the space. A botanical air filter, called the Biowall, was designed and grown aeroponically in a sealed environmental chamber. Precise measurements of air temperature, air humidity, air quality and energy consumption were made under various lighting levels, plant species and watering strategies to optimize its performance. It was found to reduce indoor air pollutants 60 percent and has the potential to reduce heating and cooling energy consumption by 20 to 30 percent.