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Insights into pyrolysis behavior of polyacrylonitrile precursors using Py-GC/MS

Qian Liu, Xinyu Yang, Dipan Xuan, Zhe Lu, Fenqiang Luo, Shuirong Li, Yueyuan Ye, Duo Wang, Cunbiao Miao, Zhun Liu, Dechao Wang, and Zhifeng Zheng

Fujian Provincial Industry Technologies Development Base for New EnergyFujian Provincial Engineering and Research Center of Clean and High-Valued Technologies for BiomassXiamen Key Laboratory for High-Valued Conversion Technology of Agricultural BiomassCollege of Energy, Xiamen University, Xiamen, People’s Republic of China



Received: 8 April 2021  Accepted: 21 May 2021


Pyrolysis process is a basic process to convert polyacrylonitrile (PAN)-based precursors fiber into PAN-based carbon fibers. Herein, pyrolysis behavior of pure PAN precursor and PAN precursor modified by transition metal Co and Fe was online analyzed. The effect of metal salts addition, pyrolysis temperature, and peroxidation on the formation of pyrolysis products were online analyzed via analytical pyrolysis gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS). The results showed that the weight loss of Co-Fe/PAN-1 can be divided into two stages with the addition of transition metal Co and Fe, and it is contributed to the formation of C2H4N2, C4H8N2, C6H6N2, and C6H8N2 at the temperature range of 400 ℃–800 ℃. The number of pyrolysis products decreases, and CO2 is the main pyrolysis product after pre-oxidation of PAN-2 and Co-Fe/PAN-2. After carbonization, the formation of Co-Fe alloy was detected in Co-Fe/PAN-2@CNFs because of the addition of Co and Fe, and the specific surface area of Co-Fe/PAN-2@CNFs is 426 m2/g.

Graphic abstract

Keywords: PAN-based precursor; Pyrolysis; Co and Fe modification; Temperature; Pre-oxidation

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-021-01714-8


Chemical Papers 75 (10) 5297–5311 (2021)

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