An investigation on plant cell walls during biomass pyrolysis: A histochemical perspective on engineering applications

Yoong Xin Pang, Nusrat Sharmin, Tao Wu, Cheng Heng Pang

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The large variation in biomass species, and hence lignocellulosic composition, often results in varying properties and production of pyrolytic products, i.e. bio-char, bio-oil and bio-gas. Hence, understanding of the distribution of individual lignocellulosic components in plant cell walls and its influence on cell structural evolution during pyrolysis is essential to predict biomass behaviour for different engineering applications. Bamboo shoot sections were subjected to histochemical safranin O/fast green solution staining to reveal the distribution of lignocellulosic components in the sample. Stained fresh samples were compared against pyrolysed samples under light and oil immersion microscopy to investigate the structural evolution of primary and secondary cell walls during pyrolysis. Charred samples were subsequently characterised via BET, XRD and Raman spectroscopy to further understand the influence of pyrolytic temperatures on cell transformations. This study provides insights into understanding the devolatilisation and graphitisation characteristics of individual plant cell wall and its lignocellulosic components, thus facilitating biomass selection for targeted applications in energy derivation and/or material engineering without the need of repeating chemical-intensive histochemical and pyrolysis procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121055
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2023


  • Image analysis
  • Lignocellulose
  • Microscopy
  • Pyrolytic products
  • Safranin O/fast green

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Energy
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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