Environmental Chemistry Letters

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 429–434 | Cite as

Microbes to clean indoor pollutants

  • Carla Boga
  • Erminia Del Vecchio
  • Luciano ForlaniEmail author
  • Mario Franceschetti
Original Paper


Formaldehyde is a dangerous indoor pollutant which is introduced in house by common objects such as furniture. Effective microorganisms have the very interesting ability to degrade some pollutants. Here, we tested the removal of formaldehyde and aromatic aldehydes using effective microorganisms including yeast, lactic acid bacteria, and photosynthetic bacteria. Formaldehyde was quantified by GC–MS of formaldehyde dinitrophenylhydrazone. Other aldehydes were analyzed by GC–MS. Results show that effective microorganisms remove 70–100 % of formaldehyde, benzaldehyde, and 4-methylbenzaldehyde in about a week. Experiments on chipboard panels indicate the possibility to decrease the amount of formaldehyde emission by furniture. This is the first report on the removal of formaldehyde by effective microorganisms, to our best knowledge.


Formaldehyde Lactic Acid Bacterium Benzaldehyde Benzylic Alcohol Aromatic Aldehyde 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Authors thank REGEA Srl (Gubbio, Italy) and Alma Mater Studiorum–Università di Bologna (RFO funds) for financial support and Mrs. Yurie Orimoto (Punto EM srl) for a gift of effective microorganisms, gray ceramic tubes, and molasses.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carla Boga
    • 1
  • Erminia Del Vecchio
    • 2
  • Luciano Forlani
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mario Franceschetti
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Industrial ChemistryUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Zola PredosaItaly
  3. 3.GubbioItaly

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