Pyrolysis of cellulose primarily produces 1,6-anhydro-β-D-glucopyranose (levoglucosan), which easily repolymerizes to form coke precursors in the heating zone of a pyrolysis reactor. This hinders the investigation of primary pyrolysis products as well as the elucidation of cellulose pyrolysis mechanisms, particularly because of the significant buildup of coke during slow pyrolysis. The present study discusses the applicability of a pyrolysis-gas chromatography/flame ionization detection (Py-GC/FID) system using naphthalene as the internal standard, with the aim of substantially improving the quantification of pyrolyzates during the slow pyrolysis of cellulose. This method achieved quantification of levoglucosan with a yield that was 14 times higher than that obtained from offline pyrolysis in a simple tube reactor. The high yield recovery of levoglucosan was attributed to the suppression of levoglucosan repolymerization in the Py-GC/FID system, owing to the rapid escape of levoglucosan from the heating zone, low concentration of levoglucosan in the gas phase, and rapid quenching of levoglucosan. Therefore, this method facilitated the improved quantification of primary pyrolysis products during the slow pyrolysis of cellulose, which can be beneficial for understanding the primary pyrolysis reaction mechanisms. This method can potentially be applied to other polymeric materials that produce reactive pyrolyzates.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)