Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is important to the health and performance of building occupants. BMCE researchers are conducting interdisciplinary studies to better understand the impact of contaminants on IAQ and human health and to develop better systems for IAQ control.

VOC removal through symbiotic microbe-plant interactions [Ren]

To improve IAQ, it is critical to remove volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) effectively from sealed buildings. Recent research has demonstrated the great potential of indoor plants and associated microbes for VOC removal. However, the distribution of microbes in such systems is unknown and a quantitative understanding of their activities is still missing. The lack of such critical information hinders the optimization and application of this technology. To better understand and improve such systems, we conduct a systematic study of VOC removal through symbiotic microbe-plant interactions. This project is based on collaboration with Dr. Jianshun Zhang in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering with funding support from the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems. Experimental and modeling approaches are integrated to quantitatively analyze the system and optimize its efficiency.