Table of Contents
Journal of Fuels
Volume 2014, Article ID 390261, 7 pages
Research Article

Potential of NMR Spectroscopy in the Characterization of Nonconventional Oils

NRC Energy, Mining and Environment Portfolio, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1A 0R6

Received 9 April 2013; Accepted 25 August 2013; Published 2 January 2014

Academic Editors: E. M. Cuerda-Correa, X. Lu, and O. Senneca

Copyright © 2014 Abdul Majid and Indu Pihillagawa. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


NMR spectroscopy was applied for the characterization of two biomass based pyrolysis oil samples. The samples were extracted in various solvents and the extracts were investigated by both 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy. Subsequent evaluation of the integrated analytical data revealed chemical information regarding semiquantitative estimation of various functional groups. This information could not have been obtained readily from the individual spectroscopic techniques. Semiquantitative estimation of the various functional groups allowed a comparison of the extraction efficiency of these groups in various solvents. The method is based on the premise that although the number of individual molecular species in pyrolysis oil liquid is large, most of these species are composed of a limited number of functional groups. The methodology provided information on the concentration of chemical functionalities that are potentially useful for synthetic modifications and may help to guide the use of pyrolysis oil as a chemical feedstock. The approach described is expected to be generally applicable to complex mixture of hydrocarbon oils such as bio-oils, oil sands bitumen, and coal pyrolysis oils.