Bel-Air Filtration System Uses Plants to Purify Our Environs

Illustration for article titled Bel-Air Filtration System Uses Plants to Purify Our Environs

With more than a nod to NASA and James Dyson, French designer Mathieu Lehanneur's Bel-Air purifying system uses plants to keep the atmosphere inside your house clean from nasty pollutants. The pint-sized air-filtration system acts as a miniature greenhouse, stripping the benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from inside your home using three natural filters.

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Illustration for article titled Bel-Air Filtration System Uses Plants to Purify Our Environs

The Bel-Air uses the leaves and roots of the plant and a humid bath to strip the pollutants from the air and purify it. The idea came from plant research done by NASA back in the Eighties when they were looking for a way to keep their astronauts safe from the polymer-saturated environment found in space travel.

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Lehanneur developed the filter-free filter alongside Harvard scientist David Edwards, and describes his invention as being "to the American and Asiatic common filter appliances what Dyson is to regular vacuum cleaners."

Illustration for article titled Bel-Air Filtration System Uses Plants to Purify Our Environs

The Bel-Air is currently available as a prototype, and is expected to go into production in 2009, but Lehanneur would like buyers to test his machine and report back so that the finished article will be even better. You will be able to see it at MoMA in New York in February 2008, as part of the Design and the Elastic Mind exhibition. [Dezeen]

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DISCUSSION

um, you could just fill your house with plants sans the white plastic container. it seems a bit silly to try to save me from the polymer-rich environment using the natural filtering abilites of plants by putting those plants inside their own polymer-rich enviroment. I'm not saying that uisng plants as filters is a bad idea, it's awesome! the atmosphere you breathe comes from the hard work of ancient plant-like organisms that filtered the air and water for millions of years.

it's ironic that the very polymers we're trying to filter are man-made materials derived from petrolium compounds that come from the bodies of the long-dead organisms mentioned above.

[que Elton John's 'The Circle of Life' song]