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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Oxford, Mississippi » Natural Products Utilization Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #317799

Research Project: Chemistry of Natural Products for Nutraceutical Use, Pest Management and Crop Development

Location: Natural Products Utilization Research

Title: Coal-bed methane water effects on dill and essential oils

Author
item Poudyal, Shital - University Of Wyoming
item Zheljazkov, Valtcho - University Of Wyoming
item Cantrell, Charles

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Quality
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/6/2015
Publication Date: 2/12/2016
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/62444
Citation: Poudyal, S., Zheljazkov, V.D., Cantrell, C.L. 2016. Coal-bed methane water effects on dill and essential oils. Journal of Environmental Quality. 45:728-733.

Interpretive Summary: Methane is a natural gas that is mainly extracted from coal seams. Pumping water out of those seams decreases pressure that in turn releases trapped methane gas from the seam, along with the water being pumped out. This water, also called co-produced water or coal-bed methane water (CBMW), contains high amounts of sodium, bicarbonate, and other salts, and is considered waste water by the US Environmental Protection Agency; therefore, it is considered to be unsuitable for agricultural purposes. Coal bed methane water lacks sustainable disposal and there are very few studies investigating the effects of this water on plants, their secondary metabolites and even soil. Therefore this study was conducted to determine the effect CBMW on soil chemical properties and on the biomass and essential oil yield and composition of dill. The major dill oil constituents limonene and a-phellandrene were not affected by the treatments; however, the concentration of dill ether increased, whereas the concentration of carvone decreased with increasing CBMW levels. In soil, bicarbonate and sodium levels significantly increased with increasing level of treatment, but pH and cation exchange capacity were not much affected. Coal-bed methane water could be used for irrigation of dill for one growing season, but longer term studies may be needed to clarify the long-term effects on soil and plant.

Technical Abstract: Pumping water from coal seams decreases the pressure in the seam and in turn releases trapped methane; this is the most common and economic way of methane extraction. The water that is pumped out is known as coal-bed methane water (CBMW), which is high in sodium and other salts. In past 25 years, the United States has seen 16 folds increase in production of coal-bed methane gas, and trillions of cubic meters are yet to be extracted. Coal bed methane water lacks sustainable disposal and there are very few studies investigating the effects of this water on plants, their secondary metabolites and even soil. Therefore this study was conducted to determine the effect CBMW on soil chemical properties and on the biomass and essential oil yield and composition of dill (Anethum graveolens L.). This crop was grown in a greenhouse and was subjected to different levels of CBMW treatment: 0% CBMW (tap water only), 25% (25%CBMW, 75% tap water), 50% (50% CBMW, 50% tap water), 75% (75% CBMW, 25% tap water) and 100% CBMW. The major dill oil constituents limonene and a-phellandrene were not affected by the treatments; however, the concentration of dill ether increased, whereas the concentration of carvone decreased with increasing CBMW levels. In soil, bicarbonate and sodium levels significantly increased with increasing level of treatment, but pH and cation exchange capacity were not much affected. Coal-bed methane water could be used for irrigation of dill for one growing season, but longer term studies may be needed to clarify the long-term effects on soil and plant.