Welcome to the Radniecki Lab
My students and I use traditional microbiological methods in combination with cutting edge molecular techniques to cross into several areas of environmental engineering research. These areas include water, wastewater and stormwater treatment, risk assessment of emerging contaminants and alternative energy development. Some of our current research projects include:
- Environmental implications and applications of nanotechnology: Nantotechnology has the potential to greatly advance our ability to treat drinking water and wastewater sources but the release of engineered nanoparticles into the environment may have unintended consequences. Thus a comprehensive understanding of the potential utility and risk of environmental nanotechnology is required. My students and I are contributing to this holistic approach to understanding environmental nanotechnology through a variety of projects including; 1) Understanding the potential toxic effect of released engineered nanoparticles (e.g. silver nanoparticles) to beneficial microorganisms in wastewater treatment plants and the natural environment. 2) Utilizing titanium dioxide nanoparticles to disinfect surface water and to treat concentrated waste streams.
- Sustainable biological wastewater treatment processes: Wastewater treatment plants have the potential to turn into power plants through the maximization of energy production and the minimization of energy consumption during the wastewater treatment process. For example, the addition of fats, oils and greases (FOG) to anaerobic digesters can enhances their methane production, which gives rise to the potential of wastewater treatment plants generating more energy than they consume. Additionally, the application of anammox (ANaerobic AMMonia OXidation) can further increase net energy production by reducing energy requirements for nitrogen removal by up to 60%. However, both of these technological advances can be unpredictable with our current understanding of the microbial processes at play in these systems. My students and I are working together to increase our fundamental understanding of the microbial processes that underpin these two technologies. By increasing our understanding of the microbial mechanism, we hope to increase the reliability and sustainability of these wastewater treatment processes and help turn wastewater treatment plants into power plants.
- Treatment of stormwater with
green infrastructure: Stormwater is being
increasingly recognized as a significant source of contaminants into
our waterways, however, the non-point source nature of stormwater
makes treatment challenging. Green infrastructure, which often
takes the form of bioswales, curb cutouts and rain gardens, offers a
promising solution to treating stormwater through soil intrusion,
plant uptake and microbial remediation. However, these systems
were usually designed to reduce the hydraulic peak flows of stormwater
and didn't take contaminant removal into careful consideration.
Thus, these systems often fail at removing stormwater contaminants and
can even increase the concentration of certain contaminants in their
effluent. As co-director of the OSU-Benton
Country Green Infrastructure Stormwater Research (OGSIR) Facility -
An Oregon BEST Lab, my students and I are investigating the
fundamental mechanisms governing the removal and transformation of stormwater
contaminants by soil sorption, plant uptake and/or microbial
remediation. Through our work at the OGSIR Facility, we aim to
improve the functionality and reliability of green infrasture systems
to remove stormwater contaminants.
Prospective graduate and undergraduate students interested in working with me should send me an e-mail.
Tyler Radniecki, PhD
School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering
Corvallis, OR 97331
Email: Tyler Radniecki