Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso


  • Kensei Kobayashi
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_1581-3



Thermolysis is chemical decomposition by heating. If a reaction is endothermic, heat is required for the reaction to proceed. If the reaction is exothermic, the reaction proceeds spontaneously after initiation, which sometimes causes explosion. The term pyrolysis is often used in place of thermolysis when organic compounds are decomposed at high temperature. Pyrolysis gas chromatography (Py-GC) and pyrolysis GC/MS are used to characterize organic polymers. Thermolysis of petroleum is called cracking.

See Also


Organic Compound Thermal Decomposition Bioorganic Chemistry Organic Polymer Chemical Decomposition 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Yokohama National UniversityYokohamaJapan