Influence of plant structure and flow path interactions on the plant purification system: dynamic evolution of the SO2 pollution


Sulfur dioxide is a major air pollutant in the environment. Fortunately, the plant purification system can effectively reduce SO2 pollution. However, the effect mechanism of plant purification system for the dynamic evolution of SO2 remains incompletely clear. In this work, inspired by the “Boston ivy,” we successfully designed and constructed a semi-continuous plant system. Subsequently, based on the “vine-like plant” and the “island-like plant,” the semi-continuous plant system and the isolated plant system are selected as the models of plant purification system, respectively. The dynamic evolution of SO2 in the plant systems is investigated using the computational fluid dynamic (CFD) method. It is demonstrated that the dynamic evolution of SO2 is impacted by the plant structure and the flow path ((cg/lg) + (cl/ll)). In the semi-continuous plant system, the strong flow paths with gradually weakened fluctuation are restricted by this special plant structure, the length of flow paths are extended, and more SO2 can be dissolved. In the isolated plant system, the mild flow paths with linear relationship can easily pass through the plants, such that only a little SO2 is dissolved. Overall, the present study opens a new path into the dynamic evolution of SO2 pollution in the plant systems, which helps providing guidance for the designing of plant purification system.

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c l, c g, c 1, c 2 :

species concentration (–)

S lg :

surface concentration (–)

\( {c}_{\mathrm{l}}^{\ast },{c}_{\mathrm{g}}^{\ast } \) :

interface concentration (–)

t :

time (s)

D l, D g :

diffusion coefficient (m2 s−1)

\( {\nu}_{R_{\mathrm{g}}} \) :

flow velocity (m s−1)

f l, f g :

volume fraction (–)

ρ l, ρ g :

density (kg m−3)

M lg :

mass transfer rate (kg s−1 m−3)

l l, l g :

flow path length (m)


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The study was supported by the National Science Foundation of China (Nos. 70973099 and 41271155).

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Correspondence to Zhe Wang or Zhongchao Zhang.

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Responsible editor: Gangrong Shi

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Li, N., Wang, Z. & Zhang, Z. Influence of plant structure and flow path interactions on the plant purification system: dynamic evolution of the SO2 pollution. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25, 35099–35108 (2018).

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  • Plant purification system
  • Sulfur dioxide
  • CFD
  • Flow path
  • Flow deflection angle