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Pyrolysis GC/MS analysis of improved guayule genotypes

Zinan Luo, Charles A. Mullen, Hussein Abdel-Haleem
Industrial crops and products 2020 v.155 pp. 112810
Parthenium argentatum, acetic acid, alkylphenols, aromatic hydrocarbons, biochar, biofuels, biomass, cellulose, furans, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, gases, genetic variation, genotype, guaiacol, guayule, irrigated farming, irrigation rates, lignin, limonene, pyrolysis, resins, rubber
In addition to the commonly known use as an alternative source for natural rubber and hypoallergenic latex, guayule could also be a source of resin and bagasse for use in the pharmaceutical and biofuel industries. Pyrolysis is a method to convert guayule biomass into liquid (condensable gas or bio-oil), which can be an intermediate towards production of biofuels and/or renewable chemicals. In this work, six guayule genotypes that were planted under either well-irrigated or reduced-irrigation conditions were pyrolyzed using a pyrolysis gas-chromatography-mass spectrometry instrument (PY-GC/MS). The products included condensable gas, non-condensable gas and bio-char. Within the condensable gases, selected compounds were divided into nine chemical classes including aromatic hydrocarbons, alkyl phenols, guaiacols, syringols, furans, cyclopentenones, acetic acid and acetol, levoglucosan and limonene groups. As a result, significant variations were observed in the major compounds and prominent sub-constituents of condensable gas among the studied guayule genotypes and under irrigation levels. Strong positive correlations were found between irrigation levels and oxygenated condensable gas components derived from cellulose and lignin, although hydrocarbon components derived from the rubber and resin were found to be negatively correlated with irrigation levels. Results indicated that the genetic variations among guayule genotypes can be used to improve its bioenergy potential, and positive correlations observed among pyrolysis byproducts suggest the possibility to improve several byproducts simultaneously in guayule breeding programs. This research gives an insight to breed for guayule as an economic crop with high bioenergy potential for the development of sustainable agriculture.