Dr. Garrett Struckhoff, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Education and Professional Positions

Current Research Interests

The overarching goal of my research is to explore the potential uses of plants and algae for sustainable bioremediation processes.  My studies typically focus on uptake of contaminants into plants, destruction of contaminants in the root zone, and removal of nutrients from waste streams using plants and algae.

Previous work has focused on the uptake of perchloroethene (C2Cl4) from aqueous phase and vapor phase into hybrid poplar trees.  From there I studied the uptake of perchlorate (ClO4-) into hybrid poplars, but also examined the microbial diversity in the root-zone soil.  Specifically, I focused on the diversity of the chlorite dismutase gene, an essential element to the breakdown of perchorate.

More recent work shifted away from upland plants to wetland plants and the cometabolism of chlorinated organic compounds using methane as the driving substrate.  There, I used large flow-through columns to determine the removal efficiency of a suite of contaminants using bulrush and sedge plants.

Currently, my research has diversified.  One project is examining the uptake of 1,4-dioxane into basil, radish, and poplar plants.  Another study is determining the effectiveness of algae to remove nutrients and suspended solids from brewery waste while making biofuel at the same time.  A related collaborative project with electrical engineering students is looking at the potential increase in efficiency of solar panels placed within a greenroof environment.  Our hope is to use the depleted water from the algal studies to keep the greenroof hydrated and fertile.

Selected Publications

  1. Qin, K., Struckhoff, G.C., Agrawal, A., Shelley, M.L., Dong, H. (2014) Natural Attenuation Potential of Tricholoroethene in Wetland Plant Roots: Role of Native Ammonium-Oxidizing Microorganisms.  Accepted for publication in Chemosphere as of 9/15/2014
  2. Gonzalo, J., Lopez, J., Struckhoff, G.C. Phytoremediation of 1,4-Dioxane by Ocimum basilicum and Raphanus sativus. (2014) Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Remediation of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Compounds, Battelle Press, Columbus, OH
  3. Struckhoff, G. C., Livermore, J. A., & Parkin, G. F. (2013), Diversity of The Chlorite Dismutase Gene in Low and High Organic Carbon Rhizosphere Soil Colonized by Perchlorate-Reducing Bacteria. International Journal of Phytoremediation15(9), 830-843.
  4. Shrout, J.D., Struckhoff, G.C., Parkin, G.F., Schnoor, J.L. (2006), Stimulation and Molecular Characterization of Bacterial Perchlorate Degradation by Plant-Produced Electron Donors. Environ. Sci. Technol. 40(1), 310-317
  5. Burken, J.G., Ma, X.M., Struckhoff, G.C., Gilbertson, A.W. (2005), Volatile Organic Compound Fate in Phytoremediation Applications: Natural and Engineered Systems. Z. Naturforsch. 60c(3/4), 208-215
  6. Struckhoff, G.C., Burken, J.G. (2005), Vapor-Phase Exchange of Perchloroethene between Soil and Plants.Environ. Sci. Technol. 39(6), 1563 -1568
  7. Struckhoff, G.C., Burken, J.G., Schumacher, J.G. (2004), Effect of Soil PCE on Uptake and Loss by Plants In: Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Remediation of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Compounds, Battelle Press, Columbus, OH (Best Student Paper Award)

Grants, Honors, and Awards