Assessment of geogenic contaminants in water co-produced with coal seam gas extraction in Queensland, Australia: implications for human health risk

Stearman, William, Taulis, Mauricio, Smith, James, and Corkeron, Maree (2014) Assessment of geogenic contaminants in water co-produced with coal seam gas extraction in Queensland, Australia: implications for human health risk. Geosciences, 4. pp. 219-239.

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Abstract

Organic compounds in Australian coal seam gas produced water (CSG water) are poorly understood despite their environmental contamination potential. In this study, the presence of some organic substances is identified from government-held CSG water-quality data from the Bowen and Surat Basins, Queensland. These records revealed the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in 27% of samples of CSG water from the Walloon Coal Measures at concentrations <1 μg/L, and it is likely these compounds leached from in situ coals. PAHs identified from wells include naphthalene, phenanthrene, chrysene and dibenz[a,h]anthracene. In addition, the likelihood of coal-derived organic compounds leaching to groundwater is assessed by undertaking toxicity leaching experiments using coal rank and water chemistry as variables. These tests suggest higher molecular weight PAHs (including benzo[a]pyrene) leach from higher rank coals, whereas lower molecular weight PAHs leach at greater concentrations from lower rank coal. Some of the identified organic compounds have carcinogenic or health risk potential, but they are unlikely to be acutely toxic at the observed concentrations which are almost negligible (largely due to the hydrophobicity of such compounds). Hence, this study will be useful to practitioners assessing CSG water related environmental and health risk.

Item ID: 52548
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2076-3263
Keywords: coalbed methane, coal seam gas, coaldbed natural gas, co-produced water, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
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Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2018 23:39
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040309 Petroleum and Coal Geology @ 30%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111705 Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety @ 30%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040603 Hydrogeology @ 40%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920405 Environmental Health @ 50%
85 ENERGY > 8598 Environmentally Sustainable Energy Activities > 859899 Environmentally Sustainable Energy Activities not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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