Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Analytical pyrolysis of polyethyleneimines

Coralli, Irene; Fabbri, Daniele; Facchin, Andrea; Torri, Cristian; Stevens, Lee A.; Snape, Colin E.

Analytical pyrolysis of polyethyleneimines Thumbnail


Irene Coralli

Daniele Fabbri

Andrea Facchin

Cristian Torri

Senior Research Fellow

Professor of Chemical Technology & Chemical Eng


Poly(ethylene imine) is a family of polymers with a high content of amine groups employed in various applications and widely investigated as CO2 adsorbents in carbon capture and sequestration. In this study, five branched polyethylenimines (PEIs) of different molecular weights were analysed by Py-GC-MS to gather information on the chemical structure of the principal thermal degradation products. All the PEIs produced pyrolysates with a similar chemical composition characterised by the occurrence of ethylenediamine, diethylenetriamine, piperazine, N-ethylaminepiperazine, pyrazine, 2-methylpyrazine, 2,3-dimethylpyrazine, 2-ethylpyrazine. Oligomeric ethylene polyamines were volatilised or evolved after chain scission of the PEI backbone. Pyrolysates also contained minor amounts of alkylated pyrroles, imidazoles, pyridines and other compounds that could not be identified. Pyrolysis products were formed at 300 °C, and their abundance increased markedly from 400° to 600°C. Pyrolysis of PEIs at 500 °C in the presence of mesoporous silica favoured cyclisation and aromatisation, enhancing the production of alkylated pyrazines. These compounds are of potential interest in the food industry as flavour-enhancing additives.


Coralli, I., Fabbri, D., Facchin, A., Torri, C., Stevens, L. A., & Snape, C. E. (2023). Analytical pyrolysis of polyethyleneimines. Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, 169, Article 105838.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 15, 2022
Online Publication Date Dec 17, 2022
Publication Date 2023-01
Deposit Date Mar 16, 2023
Publicly Available Date Dec 18, 2023
Journal Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis
Print ISSN 0165-2370
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 169
Article Number 105838
Public URL
Publisher URL