Date of Award

January 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Alena Kubatova

Second Advisor

Evguenii Kozliak


Pyrolysis is a fundamental thermochemical process that can be used to convert triacylglycerides (TGs) in crop oils into valuable chemicals that may replace petroleum products. Biofuels, complex mixtures containing hundreds of species, are generated by the pyrolysis of crop oils. Presence of fatty acids (FAs) will limit the applicability of plant oils as biofuels since they are corrosive and form wax-like crystals at a cloud point that would plug filters. However, short chain FAs have a high commercial value as byproducts of biofuel production. The understanding of mechanism of pyrolysis may reveal pathways for production of favorable products. These pathways are expected to depend on the type of TG feedstock with differing FA composition; for instance, the acyl chain length and number of double bonds.

Linear saturated FAs