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Bioengineered Neoplants leverage the power of microbiome science to clean air 30x faster

This system leverages the power of microbiome science to supercharge the Pothos' ability to remove harmful air pollutants 30 times faster
This system leverages the power of microbiome science to supercharge the Pothos' ability to remove harmful air pollutants 30 times faster. (CREDIT: NeoPlants)

In recent years, bioengineered plants and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have drawn tremendous media interest — especially in terms of food production and food security — and this trend continues.

Despite this, the public is largely unaware of what a bioengineered plant or genetic modification is or the advantages and disadvantages of GM technology, particularly regarding the variety of applications they can be utilized for.


Traditional houseplants like the Marble Queen Pothos are known for their air-purifying abilities. However, their effectiveness is limited, often requiring a significant number of plants to have a noticeable impact on indoor air quality.

Neoplants, a French biotech startup, aims to change this with the launch of the Neo Px, a plant-powered air purification system.  This system leverages the power of microbiome science to supercharge the Pothos' ability to remove harmful air pollutants 30 times faster.


The Science Behind the Supercharged Plant

The Neo Px utilizes a two-pronged approach:

  • Bioengineered Microbiome Solution:  A proprietary blend of microorganisms is added to the Pothos' soil. These microbes act as tiny bioreactors, accelerating the plant's natural ability to capture and break down Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).


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  • Self-Watering Planter: The Neo Px comes with a self-watering planter that simplifies maintenance and ensures optimal conditions for both the plant and the bioengineered microbes.

This bioengineered approach represents the first time such a process has been implemented in a consumer-friendly system for phytoremediation, the process by which plants naturally clean the air. Neoplants' claims are supported by a peer-reviewed study conducted in collaboration with IMT, a French university.


Bioengineered Plants Remediate Harmful Indoor Air Pollution

VOCs are carbon-containing compounds that readily evaporate into gases at room temperature and pollute the atmosphere. VOCs can combine with nitrogen oxide to form ground-level ozone, which can have severe long-term effects.

Some better-known VOCs are:

  • Formaldehyde

  • Toluene

  • Benzene

  • Trichloroethylene

  • Hydrocarbons

  • Acetone

  • Ethyl acetate

  • Methyl ethyl ketone

Focus on VOC Removal

While the Neo Px doesn't replace traditional HEPA air purifiers designed to remove dust and smoke particles, it excels at targeting VOCs.  These gaseous pollutants, often referred to as "BTX" (benzene, toluene, and xylene), are commonly emitted by household items like furniture, paint, and cleaning products.  Exposure to BTX has been linked to health problems like childhood asthma.

The Neo Px's bioengineered microbes capture these harmful VOCs and break them down into harmless byproducts like amino acids and sugars, which the plant then uses as nutrients.


Advantages over Traditional Air Purifiers

The Neo Px offers several advantages over traditional electronic air purifiers:

  • Silent Operation: Unlike noisy fan-based systems, the Neo Px operates silently.

  • Energy-Efficient:  The Neo Px requires no electricity, making it an environmentally friendly choice.

  • Continuous Air Purification:  Unlike purifiers that require filter changes, the Neo Px continuously cleanses the air as long as it's properly maintained.

Looking Towards the Future

While the initial Neo Px system utilizes the Marble Queen Pothos, Neoplants is exploring the possibilities of genetically modified plants for future iterations.  These plants could potentially achieve even higher rates of air purification.

The company also hints at the possibility of applying this technology on a larger scale to address broader air pollution issues linked to climate change.


The Neo Px system is currently available for purchase on Neoplants' website for $119. This includes the self-watering planter, the Pothos plant, and a six-month supply of refill drops for the bioengineered microbes. Refill drops are crucial for maintaining the system's effectiveness and need to be added every three months.  These refills are sold separately for $39 (approximately $13 per month).

The Neo Px represents a novel approach to indoor air purification. By leveraging bioengineering and the natural air-cleaning abilities of plants, Neoplants offers a potentially effective, silent, and energy-efficient solution for cleaner indoor air.  While further research is needed to fully evaluate its long-term impact, the Neo Px marks a promising step forward in creating a healthier indoor environment.

For more science and technology news stories check out our New Discoveries section at The Brighter Side of News.


Note: Materials provided above by The Brighter Side of News. Content may be edited for style and length.


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