Impacts of temperature on evolution of char structure during pyrolysis of lignin

Chenting Zhang, Yuewen Shao, Lijun Zhang, Shu Zhang, Roel J.M. Westerhof, Qing Liu, Peng Jia, Qingyin Li, Yi Wang*, Xun Hu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated the pyrolysis of lignin pyrolysis in a temperature region from 200 to 800 °C, aiming to understand influence of pyrolysis temperature on evolution of structures of the resulting char. The results showed that fusion of the ring structure initiated at 200 °C, where the C/H ratio in the char was equal to that in naphthalene (two fused rings). The C/H ratio in the char obtained at 350 °C corresponded to that in pyrene (four fused rings), while the char produced at 550 °C was equivalent to 20 fused benzene rings in terms of C/H ratio. The increasing pyrolysis temperature also shifted the oxygen-containing functionalities such as the carbonyl, esters, ketones in the bio-oil to the ether functionality that had a higher thermal stability. The DRIFTS study of pyrolysis of lignin showed that drastic changes of the functionalities and the internal structure of the char occurred in a narrow temperature region from 520 to 530 °C. The carbonyl functionality and the aliphatic structure were eliminated, and new conjugated π-bond systems formed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number134381
JournalScience of the total environment
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2020


  • DRIFTS study of pyrolysis
  • Impacts of temperature
  • Pyrolysis of lignin
  • Structure of char


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