Gallery: LIVING AIR FILTER: Bel-Air Mini Mobile Greenhouse


We are always on the lookout for products and materials that improve indoor environmental quality, because the reality is that many interior spaces are just plain unhealthy. This charming concept from Mathieu Lehanneur is an interesting take on how to improve indoor air quality with living plants. Since plants naturally filter the air, why not utilize what plants do best with a little help from technology? The Bel-Air living air filter is a mini greenhouse which takes in polluted air and holds it in a humid, plant-filled capsule that filters out contaminants. When released, the air is purified!

The Bel-Air builds on research from NASA soon after the first space flights. Astronauts returning from long trips inside capsules made of plastics, fiberglass, and fire retardants were found to have high levels of volatile organic compounds in their bodies. Not surprising and not unlike the environments found inside many Earth-bound buildings.

The findings prompted NASA to research “space gardens” – flora that could be used on space flights to help keep recirculated air healthy. NASA found that the most effective plants include gerbera, philodendron, spathiophyllum, pathos, and chlorophytum.

Lehanneur’s concept is a free-standing, mobile container version of NASA’s space gardens, but intended for life indoors on this planet.

We’ve seen living air-filters before (like Natalie Jeremijenko’s Plant Lamp), but we love the cute retro-futuristic pod like stylings of the Bel-Air.

+ Mathieu Lehanneur

+ Green Light Plant Lamp/Air Filter



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  1. Hassan Abu Nejim April 4, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    Please send me all the details about your products and prices to UAE

  2. traci February 10, 2014 at 6:54 am

    Where can one purchase one of these plant capsule’s.

  3. HODSONTOSSY October 31, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    I often try out to search out the top way cleansing my carpets.
    I found out that steam cleaning is one of the best cleansing approaches for that most carpets.

  4. Ty520 January 25, 2010 at 8:51 am

    As someone who is currently working on a building-integrated bio-mechanical air filter installation, I feel that this is a fantastic design! However, the price needs to come down to make it affordable for the average consumer. It would also be nice if future generations could support more plants, or if systems could plug into eachother to handle larger air volumes.

    It is pathetically shocking as to how little certain commenters know about the inner workings of such a design – to those people, I say: leave the science to the scientists.

  5. Narzulnatel January 11, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    Im not dropping a long comment on this, I just want to say that I think it is a great Idea that may or may not be put into production. Clean air is a real problem to all people around the globe. If air does not move freely (like in my apartment, eventually alot of nastyness will build up in the air I breathe) Filtering bacterias out of the air in our homes is a great thing. This device adress a certain problem that we (people in insuficient ventilated apartments) face everyday. I would consider buying this, especially if there is another incentive of the Cradle to Cradle aspect about leasing the Bio-Filter, and then returning either the whole product or some of it when the filter itself is bogged up and needs cleaning of some sort.

  6. shanghui October 3, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    Living air filter is a filter that using plant to act as an agent in filtering air. There are mini greenhouses that take in polluted air into their humid mini-environments and filter out contaminations. Sometime we really use it, it will be an advantage to us but if we think about the effectiveness filtering in our live is something not really important. Why I say so? This is because this kind of idea is more suitable for the space travel and space flights. In the earth is really nothing more can help our greenhouses. But it also can help a little bit. After you read through my comment you will know what I thinking about. I did not said it is good to us but just not necessary need it in our life or in this recent year. We have not seen the important of this creation.
    As I know living air filter is using fan to blow air in and out the filter to make fast the process of filter. Using fan means using electricity to doing work. All electric’s component will eliminate heat to atmosphere than contribute heat to our greenhouse. Why not we use more plant to filter the air and eliminate using electricity. I think that is doing useless step where you use the fans to give the filtering and the plant are inside the container. Can we try the plant is outside the container than using the natural wind to move the air, so that we can reduce using electricity. Try to seed more plant around your room. It is that can give the same target as living air filter. This only no using a little electricity but also give the same aim of the result.
    For the second comment is something about the problem lighten of light. Some of the house is close tight foe example air conditioners room. Those rooms must close every time, so it will give less light to the living air filter. Thus, the plants do less photosynthesis than less filtering happens. If the room is enough white light so we are not care about it. But usually the air conditioner room is lighted as yellow or orange color light. This will lower the effectiveness of filtering. Actually the plants are most suitable of the white color light to give the highest rate of filtering. Besides that, the plants have their specific atmosphere that suitable to them. It is suitable for the living air filter to the rooms that have air conditioners? Can they live in this condition? Will they give the same effectiveness of filtering as origin filter in this condition? Or do we have others plant to choose in seeding inside the living air filter and give the same effectiveness?
    The next comment is also talk about the plant. As a healthy plant every day we need to take care of it. Every day we need watering and fertilizing. Is that we need to do every day? Some people naturally love to take care the flowers and plants, which is good to them to have a living air filter. But it is different to those not really love or lazy to do so. As a plant, after we use in long period the plant inside the living air filter will die away. So we need to seed a new one and it will take time to grow up. Is that necessary to wait so and do so? Usually the plant will be the best habitat to some organisms. If unfortunately it will bring diseases to human or others. May be it will give worse to us.
    The last comment is something about result of living air filter. The living air filter is good in filter the small particles like toxin but not filter dust and big particles. I trust in the future it will combine with the filter that concentrates to filter the dust and others big particles. We using the living plant to filter the toxin is it bring effect to the plant? It will affect the concentration of the plan than affect the process of photosynthesis. The plan have chance to die or become unhealthy plants.
    Those comments are my negative thinking of it. But actually the idea is not so bad to me. For me it is interesting. I think it is better if we implement solar-powered fan to reduce using the electricity from power stations. Besides that, it is good idea if we are using the living air filter as a decoration in our house. Maybe it will create the mini garden in our house. The living air filter is better open out to give the natural wind to take a work. We can see the big living air filter already exist in our live. For example, the public toilet and hospital are seeded of many plants. But for this living air filter is using the same concept in different presentation.

  7. Ice September 23, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    The filter has the plant with speacial soil that sucks harmful gases in the room plus pollen and dust the regular filter sucks. :-) Just know it DUH!

  8. Ice September 23, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    The plant in the filter has soil that sucks harmful gases in the house and also the pollen and dust a regular filter sucks.

  9. jessie May 24, 2008 at 8:40 am

    I agree with the others, if the device uses external power sources it’s not worth the effort. Possible a solar power source would help make this more efficiant.

  10. Alisa February 15, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    I would love to try one of these out? Are they available anywhere?

  11. Matt January 24, 2008 at 12:10 am

    Really, plants aren’t good enough in pots?.

    What are you people thinking?

    WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE USING LESS, Not producing little plug in trinkets out of plastic to make us feel better about the “world we inhabit”. There are some serious problemsthat needs to be addressed in the world and these will be made even more serious by ignorant design and consumption. Wise up and be a bit more responsible.

  12. Morgan January 12, 2008 at 8:32 am

    Come on now, it’s not that bad as a concept. Not too much of a stretch to see it made of recycled or bio-plastic. Even with a tiny fan powered by the new Solar Foil it would create quite enough circulation to make it much more efficient than just hanging a plant about. The air is only getting worse out there.

  13. happy December 12, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    Kat, yes I have always wondered if there was a way to bring plants indoors. I am very excited about this breaking development!

  14. Kat December 12, 2007 at 5:19 am

    happy, are you being facetious? i just pictured someone pondering “if only plants could live indoors. how could one accomplish such a feat?”

    i do like the look. they’re pretty cute little pods. does it actually suck in air, though? is there anything about this that makes it better than a plant in a pot, just doing it’s thing?

  15. gopz prasoon December 10, 2007 at 3:20 pm

    a plant in the room should work better than the design.nyways the innovation z always welcome!

  16. happy December 7, 2007 at 1:00 am

    This is an awesome Idea. I’ve often gazed out of my window at the plants outside and wondered could there be a way to bring something like that inside.

    I digg it!

  17. chetan parrikh December 7, 2007 at 12:39 am

    exellent innovation. congrates

  18. Erik van Lennep December 4, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    Nice thought, rushing headlong up the wrong track. Why do we need to “justify” the natural functions of plants and other organisms by housing them in artifice? I agree with the others who ask: “why not just ave a lot of plants in the room ? “

  19. Sue December 4, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    Need to be clear that it’s fun as an concept/ art piece….like Natalie J’s lamp, but as W & Daniel pointed out, as an air filter, the “pod” part of the piece adds nothing and actually uses energy that plants alone don’t. Also it would restrict plant growth. And quite frankly, you’d need a lot more or out of pods…to get any measurable change in your environment. Reminds me of those useless negative ion generators folks are supposed to hang around their necks to filter their “personal” air.

  20. Annie December 4, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    …not to mention that it appears to be made of plastic…

  21. daniel bremmer December 3, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    This looks rad, but seems kind of stupid. If it plugs into the wall and draws electricity (largely from coal) to suck in, hold, heat, and release the air then it’s making air dirty somewhere else. Why not spend the money on lots of plants that will clean all the air in the room, for free, and run off of the sun?

  22. Sean December 3, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    @Will: Since the device “inhales” the air, it either gets stuck to a filter or keeps it in the greenhouse where only the plant absorbs it or it collects on a surface. It then, I would imagine, allows the produced oxygen to escape. Overall, it helps remove some contaminates from the air.

  23. Will December 3, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    Can anyone explain why this would be any better than just having a plant in your office?!

  24. Ninehand December 3, 2007 at 11:58 am

    So about home much does one of these cost?

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