Thermal degradation of α-pinene using a Py–GC/MS

  • Bruno Coudour
  • Khaled ChetehounaEmail author
  • Laurent Lemée
  • Pierre Bertin
  • Jean-Pierre Garo


Mediterranean forest fires may be accelerated, partly due to biogenic volatile organic compounds produced by vegetation, mainly monoterpenes largely represented by α-pinene. To model the propagation of biomass combustion, it is necessary to study the flammability of the produced gas mixture, and thus, necessary to identify the emitted volatile compounds. However, thermal degradation of monoterpenes is rarely experimented above 300 °C, whereas forest fires reach higher temperatures. Thus, in this work, we experimented a 2-min pyrolysis of α-pinene at temperatures from 300 to 800 °C using a Py–GC/MS device. Less than 1% of pyrolysis products were detected at 300 and 400 °C. The pyrolysis products increased then from 14 compounds at 500 °C to 31 compounds at 800 °C. Degradation of α-pinene started with its isomerization at 500 °C. At 800 °C, alkenes detected increased as well as aromatics produced through the Diels–Alder mechanism. These results are consistent with the literature on thermal degradation of α- and β-pinene presented in our article.


Diels–Alder Isomerization and aromatization Mediterranean forest fires Monoterpenes and aromatics Oxidative thermal degradation Py–GC/MS of α-pinene 



The present study was founded by the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation who is gratefully acknowledged. The authors gratefully acknowledge Dr. Axel Cablé for his help in the review of the present paper.


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruno Coudour
    • 1
  • Khaled Chetehouna
    • 2
    Email author
  • Laurent Lemée
    • 3
  • Pierre Bertin
    • 1
  • Jean-Pierre Garo
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut P’ - UPR 3346 CNRS, ENSMAUniv. PoitiersFuturoscope ChasseneuilFrance
  2. 2.INSA-CVL, PRISMEUniv. Orléans - EA 4229BourgesFrance
  3. 3.IC2MP - UMR CNRS 7285Université de PoitiersPoitiers CedexFrance

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