The ANDREA Natural Plant Air Purifier


andrea filterIts great to see people taking design hints from nature, and the ANDREA is no different. Well, actually, it is more of an integration of nature. Housing an actual live plant of your choosing, it uses more than just a filter to clean your air, it uses a whole process of nature.

While it may just appear to be a plant in a plastic dome with a fan, it is actually much more complex. Funneling the air through the leaves and roots of the plant, particles and harmful airborne toxins are absorbed and converted by the plant using the natural process of nature. No, that is not the technical term, but lets just say the chemical processes get complex.

Natural Plant Air FilterDesigned by Mathieu Lehanneur and David Edwards of Harvard University, it is not only pleasing to look at, it is also effective at reducing indoor pollution levels. Our homes and offices can have higher pollution levels than outside due to toxic cleaning chemicals, VOCs from interior paint and offgassing office furniture which house plants can be fairly effective at removing.

While I am sure the reductions aren’t going to be as big as your run of the mill carbon or HEPA filters, they also don’t make as much noise or have replaceable filter pads. Plus, as a bonus, they produce oxygen, that thing that we all breathe to stay alive- bet your household filter doesn’t do that!

So, is it a bit gimmicky? Sure. It is probably just a tad more effective than a plant alone, but what a conversation piece!

Plant Air Filtration

[via designboom]
images courtesy of mathieu lehanneur

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Monday, September 14th, 2009 Household Author: Jean-Paul

9 Comments to The ANDREA Natural Plant Air Purifier

  1. This is really incredibly cool, I’m very impressed with the ingenuity/inventiveness of its creators. My only concern would be how do you deal with plant growth itself? Are their multiple domes/hoods? Is it resizable?

    Robb Hughes
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  2. Robb on September 16th, 2009
  3. Air purifiers are excellent devices because they essentially eliminate Dust, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, and dust mite feces and many other ailments that trigger allergies in people. For this reason alone I feel that everyone should have one in their house…for the health benefits alone.

  4. Way Healthier Air Purifier on November 5th, 2009
  5. “While I am sure the reductions aren’t going to be as big as your run of the mill carbon or HEPA filters” actually they’re claiming 400% efficiency over a HEPA

  6. Eric J on November 7th, 2009
  7. @Eric J

    Good point! I am assuming for the amount of energy consumed, that is very true. HEPA filters tend to move a lot of air and can really run up your electricity bill. I was also thinking that the HEPA would be more effective at removing larger more noticeable particles such as hair and dust.

  8. Jean-Paul on November 9th, 2009
  9. I really enjoyed reading your article and thought that you might enjoy this other article that i wrote: 15 House Plants You Can Use As Air Purifiers.

    The article takes you through some of the science behind why plants act as purifiers and then recommends 15 plants based on data from 3 different experiments.

    It might even help people decide what plant to put in their andrea air purifier.

    Thanks Again.

  10. Danny on February 22nd, 2010
  11. I also covered that topic with an article on the best houseplants for removing indoor toxins. It covers several different studies including the recent NASA studies on which houseplants were the most effective at removing specific toxins.

  12. Jean-Paul on February 22nd, 2010
  13. the best air purifiers are usually the ones using hepa filters but they are very very expensive `”"

  14. Headboard Light · on November 12th, 2010
  15. @JeanPaul
    HEPA air purifiers that move a lot of air really don’t use quite as much air as you would think. Few will cost you over $100 a year. I mean I know it isn’t pennies, but it is pennies a day! Check out the article below, it gives you an equation to use to calculate the energy use for any purifier based on the manufacturers statistics on wattage requirements

  16. Bradley on June 20th, 2012


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