03 November 2022

Green filter

The GM flower cleanses the air in the room like thirty ordinary plants

Sergey Vasiliev, Naked Science


Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, people have been spending a lot of time at home, and interest in air quality in it has grown dramatically. Filtration and purification systems that remove dust, soot, bacteria and other small particles from the air are in great demand. However, almost all of them do not cope with another pollution factor — Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC).

Meanwhile, the negative impact of VOC on health has been repeatedly and reliably shown. They are associated with an increased risk of lung, cardiovascular and skin diseases. At the same time, they can accumulate in large quantities in the room air — at times, and sometimes orders of magnitude larger than outside the window.

A new genetically modified Neo P1 plant, the creation of which was recently announced by a French startup, is capable of removing VOC from the air Neoplants. The work took almost five years, but now the Neoplants website is already accepting pre-orders with the delivery of GM plants in the first quarter of 2023. The cost of one flower is $ 179.

Neo P1 are derived from the ornamental plant Epipremnum aureum (Epipremnum aureum), which has gained great popularity due to its elegant appearance, unpretentiousness, rapid growth and lack of pollen. Genes have been added to the DNA of the flower, allowing it to use not only carbon dioxide, but also various VOC as a carbon source for photosynthesis and other conventional reactions.

One of the new metabolic pathways allows Neo P1 to absorb formaldehyde, the other — benzene, toluene and xylene, converting them into sugars, amino acids and other harmless compounds. According to the authors, the new flowers are able to remove 30 times more volatile substances from the air than ordinary plants.


After a couple of days, the VOC content in the room drops thousands of times.

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