Expedited Petroleum Hydrocarbon Destruction via Biostimulation Alone under Baseline Conditions Considered Unsuitable for Bioremediation Without Augmentation

Kent Armstrong
President, TerraStryke Products, Andover, NM

Presentation Date: March 23, 2023

We suggest sites where baseline biogeochemical conditions prior to the introduction of an input are biologically viable; capable of raising/supporting a microbial ecosystem to include growth, communication, and the development of biofilm, more likely than not realize expedited levels of performance. Conversely, sites incapable of raising/supporting a microbial ecosystem prior to an input often fail to realize performance objectives. We suggest neither the baseline density of planktonic bacteria nor the type of bacteria present matter.
Process: A field treatability study evaluated need for minimal baseline heterotrophic plate count (HPC) densities and the influence biostimulation alone has on enhancing natural attenuation of Petroleum Hydrocarbon (PHC) contaminants
Results: Baseline HPC densities 4 x 101 colonies per Litre with groundwater concentrations [DRO/Oil-TPH] ≈100 micrograms per Litre (ug/L). [DRO] decreased 97.3%, [Oil-TPH] decreased >99.99% as the densities of planktonic bacteria return 5 orders-of-magnitude greater than baseline (8.0 x 106 cfu/L).
Summary: Support of the microbial ecosystem and biofilm formation is paramount to consistent and sustainable performance regardless of input, who, and how many bacteria are there to start. We need more evaluation into what factors limit nutrient(s) availability and how the mass flux of nutrients, growth, and biofilm formation/distribution affect microbial performance.

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