The effect of coal-bed methane water on spearmint and peppermint

Valtcho D. Zheljazkov, Charles L. Cantrell, Tess Astatkie, Vicki Schlegel, Ekaterina Jeliazkova, Derek Lowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Coal bed methane is extracted from underground coal seams that are flooded with water. To reduce the pressure and to release the methane, the water needs to be pumped out. The resulting waste water is known as coal bed methane water (CBMW). Major concerns with the use of CBMW are its high concentrations of S, Na, dissolved Ca2+, Mg2+, SO4 2-, and bicarbonate (HCO3-). Irrigation water is a scarce resource in most of the western states. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of various amounts of CBMW on the growth, essential oil content, composition, and antioxidant activity of spearmint (Mentha spicata L.) and peppermint (Mentha × piperita L.) crops that were irrigated with the water. These two crops are grown in some western states and are potential specialty crops to Wyoming farmers. The irrigation treatments were 0% CBMW (tap water only), 25% CBMW (25% CBMW plus 75% tap water), 50% CBMW (50% CBMW and 50% tap water), 75% CBMW (75% CBMW plus 25% tap water), and 100% CBMW. Analyses of the data revealed that the CBMW treatments did not affect the antioxidant capacity of spearmint or peppermint oil (242 and 377 mmol L-1 Trolox g-1, respectively) or their major oil constituents (carvone or menthol). Coal bed methane water at 100% increased total phenols and total flavonoids in spearmint but not in peppermint. Coal bed methane water also affected oil content in peppermint but not in spearmint. Spearmint and peppermint could be watered with CBMW at 50% without suppression of fresh herbage yields. However, CBMW at 75 and 100% reduced fresh herbage yields of both crops and oil yields of peppermint relative to the control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1815-1821
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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