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Uptake of Aldehydes and Ketones at Typical Indoor Concentrations by Houseplants

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date1/11/2009
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Number of pages6
Original languageEnglish


The uptake rates of low-molecular weight aldehydes and ketones by peace lily (Spathiphyllum clevelandii) and golden pothos (Epipremnum aureum) leaves at typical indoor ambient concentrations (10(1)-10(2) ppbv) were determined, The C3-C6 aldehydes and C4-C6 ketones were taken up by the plant leaves, but the C3 ketone acetone was not The uptake rate normalized to the ambient concentration C-a ranged from 7 to 19 mmol m(-2) s(-1) and from 2 to 7 mmol m(-2) s(-1) for the aldehydes and ketones, respectively. Longer-term fumigation results revealed that the total uptake amounts were 30-100 times as much as the amounts dissolved in the leaf, suggesting that volatile organic carbons are metabolized in the leaf and/or translocated through the petiole. The ratio of the intercellular concentration to the external (ambient) concentration (C-j/C-a) was significantly lower for most aldehydes than for most ketones. In particular, a linear unsaturated aldehyde, crotonaldehyde, had a C-i/C-a ratio of similar to 0, probably because of its highest solubility in water.