Maintaining healthy water systems is a major environmental focus, and researchers at Rochester Institute of Technology and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) have recently patented “green wall” technology that will provide craft beverage producers cost-effective and sustainable options for wastewater treatment.

“This is one of the first applications of green walls that I’ve been able to find for any industry to treat wastewater,” said Scott Wolcott, a professor in the Department of Civil Engineering Technology, Environmental Management and Safety in RIT’s College of Engineering Technology. “If you consider any of the smaller micro-breweries, wineries, even cideries, there really has been no application of using green walls as a process.”

A green wall—essentially a lush wall garden—is effective in treating wastewater and the system is low cost and easy to operate. This new option could relieve an overburdened treatment system and the environment, said Wolcott.