Influence of Mineral Content on the Pyrolysis of Plant Materials

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Plants representing a wide range in mineral content (silica-free) were used to test the possibility that mineral elements in plants act in ways similar to flame retardants. Thermal analyses showed that the maximum rate of weight loss, the amount of volatilization between 175° and 350°C, and the temperature at which these plant materials undergo thermal decomposition are related to the silica-free mineral content. However, tested plant material having more than 12 percent silica-free mineral content did not fit all of these relationships; generally the effect leveled off between 5 percent and 7 percent. There is evidence that only some of the mineral elements present are probably active in the pyrolytic pathways of plant carbohydrates. Forest Sci. 16:461-471.

Keywords: Pyrolysis; fire hazard; plant chemistry

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Research Forester, USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Exp Sta., Ogden, Utah 84401

Publication date: December 1, 1970

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