Improved understanding of the molecular structure of pyrolysis fuel oil: towards its utilization as a raw material for mesophase pitch synthesis

  • Seunghyun Ko
  • Jong-Eun Choi
  • Hyejin Yim
  • Jin Miyawaki
  • Seong-Ho Yoon
  • Young-Pyo JeonEmail author
Original Article


Structural characterization of pyrolysis fuel oil (PFO) was conducted via 1H NMR and 13C NMR to elucidate its molecular structure and evaluate the feasibility of using PFO as a raw material for mesophase pitch synthesis. The average structural parameters were calculated based on the data from elemental analysis and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS), as well as 1H NMR and 13C NMR data. The resultant structural features of PFO were compared with those of fluidized catalytic cracking-decant oil (FCC-DO). Based on the calculated parameters, we proposed average molecular models of PFO and FCC-DO. The molecular model of PFO showed that it had an aromatic structure consisting of three aromatic rings and one naphthenic ring fused with one pericondensed and two catacondensed aromatic carbons, as well as a short alkyl side chain (with only a methyl group). This structural feature of PFO demonstrated that it is highly favorable for use as a raw material for mesophase pitch synthesis. The empirical findings in this study provide an in-depth understanding of the molecular structure of PFO as well as FCC-DO and can offer insights for future research on the utilization of PFO and other petroleum heavy oils.


Molecular structure Mesophase pitch Heavy oil Nuclear magnetic resonance Average structural parameter 



This work was supported by a Project No KK1801-G01 (Fabrication of petroleum pitch-based carbon absorbent for removal of hazardous air pollutants (SOx/NOx)) funded by the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT) and by the Technology Innovation Program (10082582, Development of petroleum-based high quality mesophase pitch and high yield mesophase pitch for premium carbon materials) funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry & Energy (MOTIE, Korea).


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Copyright information

© Korean Carbon Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seunghyun Ko
    • 1
  • Jong-Eun Choi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hyejin Yim
    • 1
  • Jin Miyawaki
    • 3
    • 4
  • Seong-Ho Yoon
    • 3
    • 4
  • Young-Pyo Jeon
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Carbon Industry Frontier Research CenterKorea Research Institute of Chemical Technology (KRICT)DaejeonRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Advanced Materials and Chemical Engineering, University of Science and Technology (UST)DaejeonRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Engineering SciencesKyushu UniversityKasuga, FukuokaJapan
  4. 4.Institute for Materials Chemistry and EngineeringKyushu UniversityKasuga, FukuokaJapan

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