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Delft University of Technology

1. Chozas Plasencia, A. (author). Design of a nature-based air purifier.

Degree: 2020, Delft University of Technology

This report showcases the design process of an air purifier that is based on the technology ‘active botanical biofiltration’, is designed specifically for a target group and it serves as an exploration of solar power applied to the mentioned technology. Indoor air contamination is a big problem for our urbanized societies, as it causes chronic diseases and SBS symptoms (headache, dizziness, irritation, etc…) to the buildings occupants. Active botanical biofiltration has been proved in the last decades as a valuable option to reduce indoor air contamination. It can target a big range of pollutants, increase the thermal comfort and improve the indoors spatial quality, in a low maintenance and low energy requiring way. Currently, several portable active botanical biofilters can be found in the market. All the products follow the main principle of the technology: plant combined with an airflow; and differ from each other with other features such as air monitoring, water tank or app interface. Given the described situation, a research process is carried out about the active botanical biofiltration (literature research), the functionalities and aesthetics desired by the user (questionnaires and interviews) and the possibilities around powering the device with solar energy (literature research). After synthesizing this research, the design requirements that the product should follow are: Product targeted to Western Europeans, living in big cities and older than 30 years old; Product to include the functionalities: airflow generated by one fan; solar powered; water tank with water level indicator; upgradeable system and not including monitoring functionalities; Product to look like a normal potted plant but doing something extra; minimalistic, subtle, neutral, timeless, functional and natural; Product to use white ceramic and wood as main materials. After showing the process of research and synthesis, the final result of the product is shown in detail (digital design and functional prototype) together with the steps that lead to that final shape (prototyping, iterations, user testing, etc…). As a last step in the process, the prototype is used to carry out a design evaluation regarding the user experience and product’s performance in improving air quality (for CO2, VOCs, T and %H). With respect to the results performed, it seems that the device is able to increase the relative humidity (from 50% to 55% in the tests), but no big effects were noticed in contaminants removal. However, a big part of the obtained results are inconsistent, which points to the need of repeating the tests in a more controllable environment. On the other hand, the user experience test results are positive, as the users felt a positive effect in their perception over the space the product was being used, and the aesthetic style is appropriate according to the user’s opinions. Besides, two areas were recommended to be improved: making the integration of the solar panels in a more subtle way, and accompanying the device with clear and reliable… Advisors/Committee Members: Keyson, D.V. (mentor), Brand, D.I. (graduation committee), Delft University of Technology (degree granting institution).

Subjects/Keywords: active botanical biofiltration; Air quality; Solar power; Air purifier; Nature Based Solutions

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APA (6th Edition):

Chozas Plasencia, A. (. (2020). Design of a nature-based air purifier. (Masters Thesis). Delft University of Technology. Retrieved from

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Chozas Plasencia, A (author). “Design of a nature-based air purifier.” 2020. Masters Thesis, Delft University of Technology. Accessed January 16, 2021.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Chozas Plasencia, A (author). “Design of a nature-based air purifier.” 2020. Web. 16 Jan 2021.


Chozas Plasencia A(. Design of a nature-based air purifier. [Internet] [Masters thesis]. Delft University of Technology; 2020. [cited 2021 Jan 16]. Available from:

Council of Science Editors:

Chozas Plasencia A(. Design of a nature-based air purifier. [Masters Thesis]. Delft University of Technology; 2020. Available from: