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Carbon isotope ratio analysis of organic moieties from fossil mummified wood: establishing optimum conditions for off-line pyrolysis extraction using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry

By I.J. Poole and P.F. van Bergen


Mummified fossil wood was studied using off-line pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry to reveal detailed insights into the pyrolysis conditions that are needed to obtain simultaneously sufficient amounts of both cellulose and lignin markers for stable carbon isotope analyses. The off-line pyrolysis was applied at a range of temperatures (200, 250 and 300 °C) and times (1 and 2 h) to determine the optimum temperature and time that yielded the highest quantity of true markers for lignin and cellulose. Increasing the time from 1 to 2 h had no effect whereas increasing the temperature led to large differences. The products released during the low-temperature pyrolysis were mostly related to thermally labile moieties. Only at 300 °C were sufficient amounts of products released that represent true cellulose and lignin building blocks and which could be studied using gas chromatography/combustion isotope ratio mass spectrometry

Topics: Aardwetenschappen
Year: 2002
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