Home Tech Neoplants Neo Px Plant Air Purifier Is Not Worth the High Cost

Neoplants Neo Px Plant Air Purifier Is Not Worth the High Cost

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Potted plant on beige stand on a small corner surface with a white wall behind

Neoplantas has a attractive proposition: a living alternative to a bioengineered air purifier to remove those toxic vapors known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, from the home. Its first product, the neo px, claims to be 30 times more efficient at purifying the air than a regular houseplant. It arrived at my house in a sturdy cardboard box.

These are big statements in a small box. About a foot tall, the plant’s system is touted as “the first bioengineered air purifier for your home.” From the company’s Instagram and marketing materials, I thought Neoplants had genetically modified the pothos plant, enhancing its phytoremediation capacity to eliminate pollutants from the air. Scientists I’ve done this, but the Neo Px uses a regular Marble Queen Pothos. It is the “Power Drops” (the microorganisms that must live in the soil) that are designed through bioengineering.

A self-sufficient plant

Photography: Lisa Wood Shapiro

The beige casing that comes with the plant is made of thermoplastic polyester polylactic acid (PLA) and has an understated design that easily blends into a variety of interior styles. PLA is derived from natural sources and the Neo Px’s shell comes from flax.

It is biodegradable in industrial composting environments, such as those offered to New York City residents, but it does not break down in a garden compost and PLA rots at about the same rate as plastic in landfills. The pot is designed for maximum airflow from both the top and the vents on the bottom of the case, although every time I moved the Neo Px, a small amount of soil would escape through those vents. ventilation.

According to the instructions, I filled the water well and placed the delicate water meter back into the pot. Next, I cosplayed as a botanist, mixed the water and Neoplants Power Drops in my Neo Px glass cup with the glass wand, and then poured the potion onto the soil. The entire process took approximately half an hour.

I had to move the Neo Px to several different locations to keep my cats from nibbling on the leaves. Pothos is toxic to pets and can cause mouth irritation, difficulty breathing, and gastrointestinal pain. I ended up putting aluminum foil around the plant to keep them at bay.

Photography: Lisa Wood Shapiro

the claims

Is the Neo Px an alternative to an air purifier? For starters, the plant cannot filter particles from the air. Unlike a HEPA filter that uses regulated accordion-fold filters, the plant cannot remove smoke, pollen and dust along with those small invisible particles, PM 2.5, which can turn the sky orange and reach the deepest parts of the lungs. (A regular HEPA filter cannot capture vapors or gases, but it can when combined with a carbon filter.)

The Neo Px is touted to have the ability to filter out VOCs, focusing on three vapors: benzene, toluene, and xylene. This is done by using the company’s bioengineered Power Drops. Each Neo Px is touted as having the air-cleaning capacity of 30 plants, and in the company’s press materials, website, social media, and emails, Neoplants cites the nearly four-decade-old company NASA Plant Study as a test. In short, the NASA plant study found that plants in a closed chamber, smaller than a bathtub, could remove VOCs from the air over a certain period of time.

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