Quantitative determination of species production from phenol-formaldehyde resin pyrolysis

Hsi Wu Wong, Jay Peck, Robin E. Bonomi, James Assif, Francesco Panerai, Guillaume Reinisch, Jean Lachaud, Nagi N. Mansour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Batch pyrolysis of a commercial resole type phenol-formaldehyde resin was performed using a step-wise heating procedure in a temperature increment of 50 K from 320 to 1290 K. A resin sample of 50 mg was loaded in a reactor assembly specifically designed and built for this study. Mass loss was measured after each 50 K step and the production of pyrolysis products was quantified using gas chromatography techniques. The overall mass loss from the samples reached 39.2% after the entire procedure. Three major product families were identified: 1) water is the most dominant product at a pyrolysis temperature below 800 K; 2) phenol derivatives (aromatic alcohols) have significant yields at a pyrolysis temperature between 500 and 850 K; 3) permanent gases such as hydrogen, methane, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide have the highest yields at a temperature above 800 K. Minor products observed include aromatics, which are formed between 700 and 850 K, and C2 to C4 light hydrocarbons, which are only formed above 800 K and peak at 1000 K.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-131
Number of pages10
JournalPolymer Degradation and Stability
StatePublished - Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Gas chromatography
  • Phenol-formaldehyde resin
  • Pyrolysis
  • Reaction kinetics
  • Species production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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