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As a prelude to the investigation of the potentiality of seaweeds as a future source of organic chemicals or fuel, the products of pyrolysis under nitrogen of Fucus serratus(serrated wrack) have been analysed. The pyrolysis produces large amounts of charcoal, water and carbon dioxide with smaller amounts of an oil, pitch, hydrocarbon gases, carbon monoxide, ammonia and carboxylic acids. The oil proved to be a complex mixture of heterocyclic bases, phenols, aromatic hydrocarbons, nitrogen and oxygen heterocyclic compounds and small amounts of aliphatic compounds. A variety of analytical techniques have been employed to analyse the pyrolysis products, with gas chromatography and mass spectrometry being the most widely applicable.
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