Quantitative Low-Field 19F Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Analysis of Carbonyl Groups in Pyrolysis Oils

Bridget Tang, Katie Chong, Arthur J. Ragauskas, Robert Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pyrolysis bio-oils, one of the products of lignocellulosic biomass pyrolysis, have the potential to be widely used as fuels. The chemical composition of bio-oils is very complicated as they contain hundreds, if not thousands, of different, mostly oxygen-containing, compounds with a wide distribution of physical properties, chemical structures, and concentrations. Detailed knowledge of bio-oil composition is crucial for optimizing both the pyrolysis processes and for any subsequent upgrading into a more viable fuel resource. Here we report the successful use of low-field, or benchtop, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometers in the analysis of pyrolysis oils. Pyrolysis oils from four different feedstocks were derivatized and analyzed using 19F NMR techniques. The NMR results compare favorably with titrations for total carbonyl content. In addition, the benchtop NMR spectrometer proves able to reveal key spectral features, thus allowing the quantification of different carbonyl groups, such as aldehydes, ketones and quinones. Benchtop NMR spectrometers are typically compact, cheaper than their superconducting counterparts and do not require cryogens. Their use will make NMR analysis of pyrolysis oils easier and more accessible to a wide range of different potential users.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202300625
Issue number17
Early online date15 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023 The Authors. ChemSusChem published by Wiley-VCH GmbH. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • benchtop NMR
  • carbonyls
  • 19F NMR
  • pyrolysis oils
  • Lignin


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