CEE 200 Seminar: Past, present and future opportunities with emerging and recalcitrant organic molecules

Speaker: Kent C. Armstrong
Affiliation: President, TerraStryke

UCLA Civil & Environmental Engineering Department

C&EE 200

Environmental Engineering and Hydrology & Water Resources

Past, present and future opportunities with emerging and recalcitrant organic molecules

Kent C. Armstrong

President, TerraStryke

TerraStryke is a small vendor supplying patented and proprietary biostimulation additives to the environmental remediation industry. The majority of our work involves application of the additives of choice to the subsurface to treat contaminated soils and groundwater. Typical sites for application include dry cleaner, gas station, manufacturing facilities and the like with organic contaminants such as petroleum hydrocarbons, chlorinated solvents and newly emerging and recalcitrant organic contaminants as well.

Our strategy is to utilize biostimulation to amend the treatment zone by providing necessary additive components to reverse the stress being experience by native microbial populations. Typical carbon based additives realize 1-2 orders of magnitude destruction over time and often experience what is referred to as rebound, the increase of dissolved-phase contaminant concentrations in the groundwater after a period of time where it appeared the treatment had been successful at meeting regulatory guidelines. Over the past 10-years at chlorinated sites, we have been realizing 2-3 order magnitude destruction rates in molar mass in less time and for longer sustainability and no typical adverse effects.

Similarly, at petroleum hydrocarbon sites we are experiencing destruction rates attributed to aerobic conditions while maintaining anaerobic conditions (no Oxygen). We attribute this superior performance to our additive ability to leverage over 4-billion years of microbial development, and factors and processes yet understood in our industry. With the assistance of UCLA, we are evaluating these results with an eye towards understanding better how microbial populations develop, recognize energy/food sources and manipulate the conditions to develop structures and processes that allow consortia of microbial communities to harmonize their behaviors so as to collectively utilize the available energy source presented. Using field data I hope to relate to the students and faculty how applying principles of ecosystem routinely used in zoology and botany needs to be accepted in the microbial world.

Will conclude with future opportunities with emerging and recalcitrant organic molecules in terms of research and future employment opportunities in my industry.

Where:   CS 24 Young Hall

When:     12:00 – 12:50 PM, Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Kent graduated from California State University – Long Beach with a B.S Terrestrial Ecology (Zoology), a minor in Philosophy, and specialized studies in Chemistry and Geology. Kent has a wide array of experiences including environmental investigation, remediation, and management projects. It also introduced him to his patent partner, Carl Galli, which led them to the conception of TerraStryke Products LLC. Since 2008, Kent has been providing biostimulation additives designed to leverage existing site conditions and native microbial populations to realize the safe, low-impact, cost effective, destruction of soil and groundwater contaminants.


Date(s) - Oct 08, 2019
12:00 pm - 12:50 pm

Young Hall CS24
CS24 Young Hall Los Angeles CA 90095