Pei Gu

Publication Date

Spring 1992

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Rita K. Hessley (Director), WeiPing Pan, John Reasoner

Degree Program

Department of Chemistry

Degree Type

Mater of Science


The thermal analysis of milkweed and several individual commercial samples of .similar chemical composition has been carried out. By combining a two-stage thermal process. (pyrolysis-combustion) with TG-FTIR, it has been possible to identify the major organic volatile products during pyrolysis and to correlate gas evolution with the decomposition of the individual components (cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin) of the floss. During pyrolysis, acetic acid, formic acid and methanol are formed 1n addition to CO2, and H2O. The data also show that pyrolytic decomposition of the three chemical constituents of milkweed occur without any apparent synergistic interaction. The combustion of milkweed produced CO2 and H2O, as expected, but the removal of the waxy coating from the fibers results in an increased susceptibility to combustion. The coating displays no effect on the process of pyrolysis.



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