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NMR for OIL and COAL

Below is the contents of Cover Letter to Secretary for the submission of the manuscript:-

I have enclosed two schemes sketched out indicating the various concerns in the topic of this seminar and further I enclose herewith a few excerpts from my reference gathering which I could be using to summarize in short, but ,highlighting during the process the context where the participation and cooperation of the public is required to enable make such a tool available for the issues arising due to a locally prevailing situation. Even at the outset it would become apparent how, a specialist, even while willing to familiarize people with the advantages of such advances can encounter a paradoxical reluctance from the public to make even an inch forward towards anywhere realizing the importance of ushering these technique but would only want to be content upon what is simply becomes possible because of mere familiarity with things and no knowledge of the pros and cons of what is being used and done. I have tried to set the Organization of the Sections in this article and the exposition to make this also a probable MODEL ARTICLE for specialists in variuos TECHNOLOGICAL aspects who would want to appeal to the average members of Society about their respective Technical topics.

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           This author with his experience in teaching and research in           
           Nuclear Magnetic Resonance has started getting support to           
           conduct classes to teach the subject of "Magnetic Resonance"          
           under the Innovative Programme of the UGC, New Delhi.          
           For information CLICK HERE and find item No:31 of the X Plan Guidelines of the UGC.           

           With specific reference to this Author's interests in the Applications of Magnetic Resonance          
           as putting demand in constantly improving the Curriculum Contents{ as is stipulated in }           
           at the University PG Degree levels, Viewers may find from a           
           careful consideration of the contents of the Webpage           
           that it requires not trivial efforts to impress upon those concerned           
           about the necessity to constantly review and update the contents           
           of the syllabus Units on magnetic resonance to cope up with the requirement          
           to adapt the fast growing technical improvements as a matter of routinely changing rates of growth.          


Department of Chemistry
North Eastern Hill University
NEHU Campus

Full Paper for the Presentation made at the
Environmental and Sociological Implications of Mining of
Coal,Limestone and Uranium and Exploitation of Oil and Natural Gas
in North East India

June 5-6,2003

CLICK HERE to download  a 20 page MS WORD document of this article

             This INTERNET documentation was soon after submission of the manuscript and the oral presentation.
             Subsequently the Proceedings of this SEMINAR has been published and the BOOK has Title:"Development and Environment"

Details about this Proceedings Volume Published at (hot link) URL:

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CLICK for details about the contents of this PUBLIHSED BOOK. Inserted on 18th March 2011, NEHU Campus


Section I: Abstract

Section II: Introduction

Section III: What is Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy?

Section IV: How does this Technique find its Relevance in the Context of Mining for Minerals and Exploration of Oils

Section V: The Potential of the NMR technique Vindicated by the Possible Applications Reported Till Now.
1. Indicative Titles of Reports at International / National Conferences
2. Excerpts with Necessary Comments to Highlight the Practical Applications Relevant for this Seminar Topic.
3. Indications to the Applicability for the studies Relating to Human Health Hazards.

Section VI: Little More Elaboration of the Technique and Applications for the Scientific Community.

Section VII: Can this Technique be Applied in the Regional Context?

Useful web-links;Related to S.A.I.F.,NEHU

Section VIII: Conclusions
Total Number of pages including Figures and Table = 16+5=21

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SECTION-I: Abstract



With such tasks as what the Seminar Title entails, an effort will be made in this paper, with the title as above, to project a specialist�s point of view of the efforts required for trying to make the common man aware of what is going on around him. The specialization as referred to above is not in the area of mining activities nor in the environmental consequences, but a specialist in a technological tool � a spectroscopist. How the specialist in a technological tool, a spectroscopic technique, can contribute in this context?

What such a specialist looks for is an input of peripheral information well consolidated from which he can seek further specific data on the basis of which the advantages of the advanced technology can be brought in a usable form with understandable prescriptions to those who are in the front line of managing the operational processes. These recipients by themselves will not be fully equipped with the preliminary information to be provided to the specialist. How much the trend setters, who lead and direct such efforts as the mining and oil explorations, can really get to know the specialized technological advances and set the utilization of such resources effective is not only a local issue but, even in the global context, it is a matter discussed repeatedly and sometimes the only topic to be sorted out for effective flow of current technological advances into the identifiable pockets where the grass root requirements require these specifically. With the above enlisted contextual disposition, the perspective of the specialist - as to what comes forth when trying to look around for bringing the technological potential to be practically advantageous - would be projected. Can really a pressure-head be built up to enable the wheels to turn? A specific spectroscopic tool � a technique, its potentials and present capabilities for handling the requirements of such concerns as there is in the mining and oil exploration, what this capability holds for improving the prevailing conditions in a region, and a glimpse into the possible efforts with adequate support are the sectional highlights to be focused upon.

SECTION II: Introduction

An awareness as to what the resources are and how to relate it to the development leads to the kind of considerations as it appears in flow-chart diagrams and schemes of Figure 1. This is the stage set for the starting point in Figure 2.

It is first of all necessary to document the occurrence of resource materials. This should be made in such a way that while considering further for utilizing them- when critical balances as required in the flow-diagram of Figure 2 have to be accounted for - the occurrence DATA does not stand out with ambiguities either Qualitatively or Quantitatively. Only this can bring confidence among those concerned with resource management, and enable them to look for effective scientific methods and technical assistance in minimizing the environmental degradations and reducing the consequential hazards. The critical question of whether the natural resources occurring in a region have to be made available for use or not must depend upon only this awareness among all.

More specifically, the unwanted consequences can be categorized as in the flow-chart diagram of Figure 3.

The diagram indicates which are the aspects that require all-time monitoring with preparedness for possibly on-the-spot inferences and measures at short notices. The diagram also lists out the considerations which are the durable considerations for the sustainability of the activities. All these are to be tackled with the advantages from the fast-developing technological means. It is in this context that this article is set out. How can the specialist in a technological aspect get to know the specifics of the requirement at a spot? How much of it depends on the people on-the-spot and how much of it depends on people who have the know-how for the tasks to take the necessary initiatives. This broad-based important question when answered on a general footing the out come is bound to be untraceable for the specifics of the regions which might appear to have been diluted.

It is the purpose of this paper to highlight a technological aspect which has been known to have great potential in the Field of Mining for Minerals and Exploration for Oils. The author has been pursuing the research in the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Technique and has known its capabilities. At the same time the author is aware that this technique and its applicability in such contexts is much less known even now in the North East India1, where the requirements for an activity in the region can seemingly be known after the activity has gonethrough a full swing operation to let out the cry for it to be stopped at short notice because of the disdvantages to the inhabitants. It is not much evident whether a consideration of the kind in Figure 2 has been made and when? Belatedly then, how quickly can a specialist appear in the scene to claim what is known about it which can be done ? This type of predicament is typical and is the irony which cannot be recognized in a region which is developing. The example of the efforts in this paper probably can provide an insight to the several specialists in various technical aspects to go to the rescue to the places where the know-how is not available, and it is not even known that the know-how is available. Then only arises the question of whether to opt for a technological strategy or not.

The technique of NUCLEAR MAGNETIC RESONACE SPECTROSCOPY is described in SECTION III to enable the average public to appreciate what is being told about its potential in the context. SECTION IV is an effort to try to explain how this technique can find a place in such considerations of mining and exploration. SECTION V would be a documentation which is available in the actual applications in this area to highlight the fact that even the simple introduction to this technique as given in the previous sections could be enough to recognize the capability of this technique by reading reports and seek to look for the specialists considerations appropriately. SECTION VI would be an elaboration for the benefit that cross section of the public which makes up the Scientific Community. SECTION VII would be to consider the relevance for regional aspects. A conclusive summary is what is intended in the SECTION VIII.

The above four Schemes appear in the article �Recognising and Utilising Resources� by this Author published in �Environmental Issues of North East India� Edited by �Zahid Husain�, Regency Publications,New Delhi,P 219 (2003)

SECTION III : What is �Nuclear Magnetic Resonance� Spectroscopy?

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (N.M.R.) Spectroscopic Technique can be used to monitor chemical compounds because of the fact that atoms, and hence,the molecules have NUCLEI as constituents. The nuclear property which this NMR technique makes use of is the possibility that nuclei have magnetic moments (describable as that of tiny bar-magnets). Physicists associate these Nuclear Magnetic Moment values with the characteristic Nuclear Spin Quantum Numbers(Ref:2.)

Nucleus, being a tiny bar-magnet(Ref:3), can align in an external magnetic field and this alignment can undergo alterations in presence of Electromagnetic radiations (Visible light is an example of Electro- magnetic radiation) at appropriate frequency by absorbing energy from these radiations. This value of the frequency is related to the product of the nuclear magnetic moment and the external magnetic field values as given by a specific equation which ensures a value for the frequency when resonance occurs at a value for the Magnetic Field. A list of NMR frequencies for a few nuclear species at a given value of external magnetic field appears in NMR Table-1

The Figure 4 �A Scheme for Detecting NUCLEAR MAGNETIC RESONANCE SIGNAL� depicts an experimental situation and the consequences of the Energy-absorption from the Electromagnetic radiation.An animated PowerPoint Version [Use only XPversion of the MS PowerPoint Application Prgramme]of this Block Diagram/Scheme can be downloaded for ESR signal detection by a CLICK HERE

The frequency of these NMR signals can be detected in the Radio Frequency range of the Electro magnetic radiations. For the case of protons (1H nuclei, a frequency of 300MHz(Mega Hertz=106 Cycles per Second) is typical for a sample placed in a Magnetic Field of 7.05 T (Tesla = 104 Gauss). At this Magnetic Field value the 13C nuclei have a resonating frequency of 75MHz (approximately 1/4 th of the Proton resonance frequency) in the radio frequency region.

Similarly, at any given specified Magnetic Field Value other nuclei can be detected at characteristic frequency that can be related to the Proton Resonance frequency at that Magnetic Field value. These spectrometers which are built for frequencies upto 100MHz were mostly using Electromagnets while the Currently available HIGH-FIELD Spectrometers require �Superconducting� Magnet Systems which use sperconducting materials to sustain the flow of constant high currents.

This NMR technique is a currently fast-growing technique with well developed Methods applicable in various contexts. The present day spectrometer capabilities astonishing and its sophistication makes it very remote for the public to know how simple it can be to get results in a specified contexts. The specilists are preoccupied more in increasing the potential of this technique from the well established requirements in general, the specific requirements of when and where it can be implemented is left for practicing spectroscopists. It is upto the public to reach out for such practicing spectroscopists who also happens to be specialising in the technique and derive the most of what is available and what is possible. In most of the cases it is the initiatives from the public that can be ascertained as wanting, while certain utilization criteria are evaluated.

SECTION IV:How Does This NMR Technique Find its Relevance in the Context of Mining for Minerals and Exploration for Oils?

To facilitate an appreciation of the subject of the title of this Section, we may consider, for further specification to follow, the Table I, of �Sources and Quantities of AIR CONTAMINANTS� as reproduced.

It can be seen that the Air Contaminants are essentially Chemical (molecular) products like (1)Carbon Monoxide (2)Sulfur Oxides (3)Hydrocarbons (4)Nitrogen Oxides etc. These chemical compounds contain (atoms with their characteristic) Nuclear Species as constitunets and such NUCLEI are as follows: (1) 13C (2) 33S (3)1H & 13C (4)14N & 15N which can be looked up in the Chemical Periodic Table for their characteristic properties. The additional information at present is that the above nuclear species can be detected by NMR to reveal the nature of the molecular species in which they are located and can be estimated quantitatively also by NMR. One of the advantages of using NMR technique for these purposes is that NMR is a non-destructive technique and hence the tested sample can be recovered intact without any changes due to measurement process. Similarly where ever there are Chemical compounds to be monitored, since inevitably nuclei are present in them, NMR is a possible technique which can be applied. It is this aspect which is crucial, that wherever a chemical compound has to be studied, estimated and/or monitored, the NMR technique can be an obvious choice. What the people have to find out from the specialists is the capability of this widely applicable technique for the specific chemical contexts and the requirements with reference to the specific chemical specimen. Such an effort might provide a simple solution to what otherwise would have been a complex situation.

SECTION V:6 The Potential of the NMR Technique Vindicated by the Possible Applications Reported Till Now


(The recent 44th Conference of the above series was held in USA in April-May 2003)

1. Combined NMR and MRM Study of Cross linking in Polymers and COALS

2. Solid state Multinuclear and High Resolution 1H and 13C NMR Study of GEOCHEMICAL SAMPLES


4. Phase Change of water in Hardening CEMENT: Detected by Deuterium NMR

5. Mechanistic studies on the DETOXIFICATION OF THE CHEMICAL warfare Agent VX: 18O Induced Shifts in the 13C and 31P

6. Observation of DRYING PROCESSES IN TEXTILES by Magnetic resonance microscopy

7. Structure Elucidation at the LIMITS OF DETECTION � Chasing a Shrinking target

8. NMR Spectroscopy of LEAD-207 in Inorganic Materials.


10. 13 C NMR study of small molecules chemisorbed on commercial fuel cell grade GRAPHITE � SUPPORTED and polycrystalline Platinum electrodes

These titles above are listed Mainly to indicate that NUCLEAR MAGNETIC RESONANCE (spectroscopic) TECHNIQUE can address to the investigation of materials of interest in the sort of questions that arise in the context of mining and oil explorations.

With 1.7mm submicro NMR probes the limits of detection has dropped to making the acquisition of GHSQC data of 0.05 micromoles possible in 24 hrs. (Sensitivity considerations typically one encounters in trace analysing for Pollution Control studies)

NMR is useful in and facile method for studying decontamination reactions of chemical warfare (CW) agents. Many of the solvent systems are AQUEOUS, and the reactions can easily be monitored without extraction or manipulation of the highly toxic and/or lathel samples

Mobile NMR requires small instruments including small magnets. Small magnets applied to conventional-size objects provide inhomogeneous magnetic fields. The applications were made with WELL LOGGING and the principles of the method have been suggested for use in medicine, process control and product control.

Modern NMR spectroscopy is prospective nondestructive analytical tool for investigating the composition and isotope fractionation of natural samples. So far this technique found no wide application in geochemistry, especially, to dating the fossil samples of geochemical and geological origin. A number of such samples, powdered or sorbed on inorganic oxides, coals etc., were investigated by means of multinuclear solid state MAS NMR. These could be correlated with data on 14C labeling and spore-pollen diagrams.

The 129 Xe resonance frequency and relaxation times are sensitive to local environment. These properties can be used in Characterising oils using 129 Xe NMR. Investigations were made using 129 Xe NMR to characterize oils in terms of composition, aromatic content, carbon chain length, degree of saturation, and viscosity. Oil water content can be estimated using the well-known Xe oil/water partition coefficient (20:1).

The cross-link characteristics of polymer and coal samples were studied both NMR and magnetic resonance microscopy and the technique is being directed toward the study of the degree of cross linking of in Argonne Premium Coals of various ranks.

Some examples of NMR Techniques for FOOD Materials.
(A few examples from the Contributions at the 2nd Alpine Conference on Solid State NMR: New Concepts and Applications held during Sept. 2001 at Chamonix Mont-Blanc, France where the present author participated contributing a paper)

1. Effects of Hydration on Gluten Dynamics as studied by 13C and 1H solid state NMR

2. Solid state NMR spectroscopy for the study of FLOUR Gluten Results: Mixing of gluten with water produces a complex polymeric network which determines the elasticity and extensibility of dough, two fundamental properties for the food applications of wheat flour. The effect of water on dough rheology has been deeply investigated while understanding of the interactions between water and gluten is far to be reached. The dynamics of the whole protein resulted to be strongly affected by hydration.

Flour quality depends upon the nature and proportion of its main components (10% protein (gluten) and 85% (starch) and also on minor components (lipids or pentosans). To promote an improved quality control of the product, understanding at the molecular level is required. The effect of starch on gluten was also investigated showing that, at room temperature, gluten maintains its structure and dynamics. The effect becomes clearer under heating and cooling, reflecting gelatinisation and retrogradation.


Considerable important materials are available in the following two reference books to indicate the potential of NMR Spectroscopic technique in the context of Health Hazards to workers and Laborers. Few examples would be cited to illustrate this potential. In the book on

1. �NMR in Medicine and BIOLOGY: Structure Determination, Tomography, In Vivo spectroscopy� Reference 7-Particular Page # 173-202 and on

2. �MR Imaging and Spectroscopy in pharmaceutical and Clinical Research� Reference 8- Consists of all clinical applications and the Research trends.

SECTION-VI : For the Scientific Community;
Little More Elaboration of the NMR Technique and Applications

As indicated in the previous sections, the NMR Spectroscopic Technique is helpful in characterizing chemical compounds and in finding structures of molecules because of the possibility to detect,estimate and locate the nuclear species of the atoms which make up the molecule.

The water molecule has the chemical formula H2O. Accordingly the water molecule is made up of two Hydrogen atoms and one Oxygen atom. The nucleus of the Hydrogen atom is called Proton and it has a �Spin� property specified by the corresponding quantum �number� with value ���. By looking up the NMR Table it is possible to know that 1H (proton) nucleus can be detected by NMR technique with available NMR Spectrometers.

Water weighs 1gm for a volume of 1ml. The molecular weight of water is 18gms. 1ml of water contains as many as the order of 1022 protons. A given sample of water can give rise to Proton Magnetic Resonance signal from which this number can be verified and used for calibration purposes in an experiment. This is called �Proton Counting� and in general this �spin counting� provides the means for measurement of concentrations with detectable nuclei and using appropriate prior calibrations. This is the principle of �Concentration� measurements of molecular species by NMR which is necessary for experiments to monitor the extents of pollution.

For the nuclei present in a particular electronic surrounding in a molecule, there can be a characteristic range of values of the NMR Chemical Shift Parameter and these are well documented in the form of Tables to look up for such informations.

Similarly the biologically important molecules can be estimated by detecting the 31P nucleus of the Phosphorus atoms typically in Inorganic phosphates Pi, Adenosine Di Phosphate ADP, and Adenosine Tri Phosphate ATP. In addition these phosphorus compounds show sensitively pH dependences. This becomes a convenient NMR parameter to vary pH and study the biological reactions or by monitoring the value of the NMR parameter (Chemical Shift) it would be possible to infer about the acidity level in solutions and hence know the status and extent of reactions. These are biologically important molecules in energy cycles and monitoring these chemical processes have proved useful in monitoring the health of individuals as to the �normal� or �abnormal� being �excess� or �deficient� and not the critically required levels.

SECTION VII:Can this Technique be Applied in the Regional Context?

These matters as these appear simple, can be brought to the people of a region so that in terms of these simple descriptions they would be able to look for solutions to their problems at any context and put it across to the specialists and look for further suggestions about the feasibilities. Or, alternatively, the specialists can be told about the requirement in a place where there is a requirement to monitor particular chemical species or a particular biological targets and inquire as to the utility of the NMR Spectroscopic Technique. That the NMR technique has such potentials as these is not even known at a popular level to the on-the-spot operation managers and it is this process which requires greater attention.

Since the specialists keep making rapid strides, and the mining and oil exploration activities seem to be in full swing where a present situation is favorable even in a developing region, the activities degrade the living condition since the situations are not the same as elsewhere, where these seem to have an established advantage. When these activities are in progressive stages, late realizations cannot simply stop these activities without follow-up measures. Stopping them at any spur of the moment would be causing more damage than continuing the activity. These follow-ups required may be more expensive than continuing the activity with its ill-consequences. Hence a Scheme as in Figure-2 must be exhaustively considered before initiating these activities.

SECTION VIII:Conclusions

From the considerations above, for the utility of the NMR Spectroscopic technique for the Coal Mining and Oil Exploration in general9, it is obvious that in any particular Regional context, it is the people of the region who should take away their attention from only �the on- the-spot, ephemeral, requirements and enable an all-round and perennial confluence of the flowing advantages from every possible technological means for the activities to be managed scientifically and not be motivated by the mere monitory prospects even if it be for the altruistic purpose of financing the needy cross section of the public.

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1. In fact, in the WebSite ��, the contents make no reference to the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Technique eventhough some of the applications which are illustrated in the later sections of this article would come under the purview for inclusion. Hence a person in a particular region, for the sake of information looks up such sources there is no probability that the seeker would ever come to know about the potentials of NMR technique.

2. �NMR IN MEDICINE AND BIOLOGY�: KH HAUSSER AND HR KALBITZER, Springer Series on �Physics In Life Sciences� , Springer-Verlag (1991) PP 1-6.

3. College Text Books in the Subjects of Physics and Chemistry provide elementary descriptions of the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Phenomena and Spectroscopic Applications.


5. �INTRODUCTORY CONCEPTS IN BIOLOGY�: GC Becker, The Macmilan Company,NY ,Page 242 Table 19-1 (1972)

6. Abstracts from �Experimental NMR Conference� and �Alpine conference on Solid State NMR�. These are International conferences held periodically. Indian Institute of Petroleum (IIP), Dehradun, conducts extensive research of petroleum products and processes using the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance technique, in their NMR Divisions. These are reported in the annual meetings of the National Magnetic Resonance Society in INDIA.

7. Same as reference #2 above in this list

8. � MR IMAGING AND SPECTROSCOPY IN PHARMACEUTICAL AND CLINCAL RESEARCH� : Editor- NR Jagannathan, JP Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd. New Delhi, INDIA (2001)

9. (a) �The Geochemistry of COAL�, Journal of chemical education, Vol 66(3), P242, (1989):: (b) �NMR of Coals and Coal Products�, W Meiler and R Meusinger, Annual reports on NMR Spectroscopy, Vol.23, P 375-409 (1991):: (c) In the �Specialist periodical reports� of the Royal Society, London, occassionally NMR of heterogeneous Systems are reviewed where in �Geological Earth Studies� find special refernce.