Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


It is well known that pyrolysis oils are a very complex mixture of various compounds in relatively small amounts. Their reactive groups consist of organic acids, furanes, aldehydes, phenols and alcohols and constitute a perfect mixture prone to condensation and polymerisation. It is expected that the carbonyl content reflects the degree of possible polycondensation reactions, which lead to viscosity changes and phase separations. Therefore, the knowledge about the content of carbonyl groups is of paramount interest and a "new" method through oximation reaction is proposed. Furthermore, it is believed that the amount of high molecular weight material (pyrolytic lignin) in the oil affects also stability. Therefore, the methods used to date will be presented.

From the end-user point of view a quick stability test would be very important to determine the quality and long-term stability of pyrolysis oils. These test are also being presented. Apart from the stability problem of pyrolysis liquids, their odour is of importance for future customers. The analysis of the atmosphere above the liquid, the so-called "head space", can be used to determine the volatiles, which can be sniffed. Furthermore, the analysis of volatiles in the head space could give some information for the determination of the flash point of the liquids. A new head space technique, the so called "solid phase micro extraction" (SPME) will be presented.

Additional information

Authors: MEIER D, Federal Research Centre for Forestry and Forest Products, Institute for Wood Chemistry and Chemical Technology of Wood, Hamburg (DE)
Bibliographic Reference: A chapter in "Fast Pyrolysis of Biomass: a handbook, Volume 1", EUR 18913. CPL Press, 1999. 194pp. 35 pounds sterling
Availability: Available from: CPL Press, Liberty House, The Enterprise Centre, New Greenham Park, Newbury, RG19 6HW, UK Tel: +44-1635-817408 Fax: +44-1635-817409 Email:
ISBN: 1-872691-07-2
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