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Andrea Air Purifier uses plant power to clean the air in your house

Keeping a bit of greenery around your pad works wonders for keeping the air in your house fresh, even without any outside help. But with the addition of a bit of technology, the purifying power of plants can apparently be supercharged.

That’s the idea behind the Andrea Air Purifier, a product that just hit the market a few days ago. Developed by a French product designer and a Harvard University biomedical engineer, Andrea is essentially a living air filter that accelerates room pollutants through the active infrastructure system of a plant to continuously clean and oxygenate your home’s atmosphere.

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 2.25.15 PMHere’s how it works: once you’ve got a living plant growing happily inside the chamber, just switch it on and a small fan will draw in air from the top. One fan blows breezes around the leaves, while a second fan sucks the air down through the soil. Microbes on the plant’s roots metabolize more toxins than the leaves do, and the soil works like a traditional charcoal filter to capture even more nasty bits. Underneath the soil, a tray of water produces humidity that keeps the plant moist and traps additional toxic molecules. And once the air has passed through this all-natural filtration gauntlet, a vent on the side recirculates it into the room.

Apparently, this process is derived from experimental research conducted by NASA back in the 1980’s. According to Andrea’s own independent research, the system is not only vastly superior to traditional carbon-based air filters, but also more than 1,000 percent more effective at purifying air than a normal houseplant.

Andrea’s designers have spent the last year and more than a quarter of a million dollars to develop the system, but now that all the kinks have been worked out, it’s finally ready to ship. You can snag one up on Amazon for around $225 bucks right now, which is definitely quite a bit steeper than your average planting pot, but also pretty reasonable in comparison to the average air purifier.

Find out more here.