Performance of Green Walls in Treating Brewery Wastewater

Scott Wolcott

Presented at the International Conference on Living Walls and Ecosystem Services


Green walls or living walls are architectural installations comprised of plants growing in soil filled, modular panels that are attached to interior or exterior walls. The objective of this study is to explore the effectiveness of using green walls to pretreat wastewater generated by small to medium sized food and beverage manufacturers. A 1.2 m high green wall was constructed using two, 610 mm x 610 mm panels filled with recycled glass media and planted with Epipremnum aureum. Brewery wastewater was recirculated through the system under four experimental scenarios: media, only; media w/biofilm; media w/plants; and media w/plants and biofilm. Reduction of BOD was at least 75% after 24 hours in all four scenarios. Removal of turbidity, BOD, and total nitrogen was greatest in scenarios involving biofilm with plants. Green walls appear to offer a space and cost efficient method for pre-treating wastewater generated by beverage and food industries.