Chemical Characterization of Pyrolysis Liquids of Rubberwood

Tom Miles

Chemical Characterization of Pyrolysis Liquids of Rubberwood
Sunanta Apiraksakul*, Juraivan Ratanapisit, Athirat Rengnarong,
Juntima Chungsiriporn, Charun Bunyakan.
Chemical Engineering Department, Engineering Faculty, Prince of Songkla University,
Songkhla,90112 Thailand

Rubberwood (Hevea Brasiliensis) is one of the main plantation crops in Thailand. These
rubber trees are cut down when it becomes unproductive of latex yielding of around 25 years and wood
would sent to the downstream production, for example, timber and furniture industries which several
tons of wood slab are generated in a year. Pyrolysis of wood and biowasted wood is one of the
interesting methods to obtain charcoal as solid product and pyrolyzate or wood vinegar as liquid
product. Wood vinegar contains a number of valuable chemicals which were reported to have many
biological activities for example as insecticides, repellents toward insects and inhibit and exhibit plant
growth. In this work, chemical compositions of wood vinegar from rubberwood (mainly as wood slab)
obtained from a kiln were examined. Wood vinegar was prepared by carbonization of rubberwood
material in a kiln. The smoke released from a kiln were cooled and collected by a condenser. After
smoke collection, liquid product was collected in a separation tank to separate these diment tar and thin
oil. Moreover, the product was characterized for its yield as the ratio of the weight of wood vinegar
obtained to the weight of the wood slab taken into a kiln. The studied parameters for a kiln were as
followings: heating rate and water temperature in a condenser as a variation in its yield. Distilled
fractions were examine their compositions using GC/MS and GC. It was found that as heating rate
decreases, yields of product increases. While as the yields increases as water temperature decreases.
The pH and specific gravity were meet the standard of Thailand. Chemical compositions of crude wood
vinegar were found more than 100 chemicals as water, acetic acid, propionic acid, guaiacol, methanol,
acetone, ethanol and cresol are the main components.
Keywords: Pyrolyzate; Wood vinegar; Pyrolysis; Carbonization; Rubberwood.