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Pyroligneous Acid


Pyroligneous Acid - "(wood vinegar; pyroligneous liquor). Crude yellow to red liquid, a mixture of materials from wood distillation. Crude product contains methanol, acetic acid, acetone, furfural and various tars and related products ... miscible with water and alcohol." - Hawley, 1981

Wood Vinegar - "A volatile, complex combination obtained by the destructive distillation of wood; main ingredients are acetic acid and methanol." - National Center for Biotechnology Information, 2011

Pyroligneous Acid - "Pyroligneous acid is a by-product of the charcoal production. Pyrolysis products during charcoal production from dry beech wood are charcoal, gas, pyroligneous acid and tar and water. The main component of pyroligneous acid is water. The organic matter consists of acetic acid, formic acid, methanol, acetone, methyl acetate and about 10% of wood tar." - Boukis and others, 2004

Wood Vinegar - "Wood vinegar, technically known as pyroligneous acid, is a condensed liquid of the smoke generated by charcoal production (Yoshimoto, 1994; Kishimoto, 1997). Wood vinegar contains 80-90% water and 10-20% organic compounds including more than 200 chemical components with mainly acetic acid. It also contains various kinds of phenol, carbonyl and alcohol compounds. Wood vinegar is widely used in agricultural crop production toward plant growth stimulation, germination, soil disinfection and the control of weed, disease and pest (Kim et al., 2000; Kim et al., 2001; Lee and Huh, 2002; Mu et al., 2003; Yatagai and Unrinrin, 1989; Rico et al., 2007)." - Kim and others, 2008

Related Definitions

Pyrolysis - "Pyrolysis is formally defined as chemical decomposition induced in organic materials by heat in the absence of oxygen ... Pyrolysis transforms hazardous organic materials into gaseous components ... Pyrolysis of organic materials produces combustible gases, including carbon monoxide, hydrogen and methane, and other hydrocarbons." - Federal Remediation Technologies Roundtable, 2002

USGS Information on Pyroligneous Acid


Boukis, N., Galla, U., Diem, V., D'Jesus, P., and Dinjus, E., 2004, Hydrogen generation from wet biomass in supercritical water, in 2nd World Conference on Biomass for Energy, Industry and Climate Protection, Rome, Italy, May 10-14, 2004: p. 4.

Deuren, J.V., Lloyd, T., Chhetry, S., Liou, R., and Peck, J., 2002, Remediation technologies screening matrix and reference guide: Platinum International, Inc.

Hawley, G.G., 1981, The condensed chemical dictionary: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1135 p.

Kim, D.H., Seo, H.E., Lee, S.C., and Lee, K.Y., 2008, Effects of wood vinegar mixted with insecticides on the mortalities of nolaparvata lugens and laodelphax striatellus (homoptera--Delphacidae): Animal Cells and Systems, v. 12, no. 1, p. 47-52, doi:10.1080/19768354.2008.9647153.

Kim, J.S., Kim, J.C., Choi, J.S., Kim, T.J., Kim, S., and Cho, K.Y., 2001, Isolation and identification of herbicidal substances from wood vinegar: Korean Journal of Weed Science, v. 21, p. 357-364.

Kim, S., Kim, Y., Kim, J.S., Ahn, M.S., Heo, S.J., Hur, J.H., and Han, D.S., 2000, Herbicidal activity of wood vinegar from Quercus mongolica Fisch: Korean Journal of Insecticide Science, v. 4, p. 82-88.

Kishimoto, S., 1997, Dictionary for charcoal and wood vinegar use. Soshinsya, Tokyo, p. 248-309.

Lee, S.J., and Huh, K.Y., 2002, The effect of pyroligneous acid on turfgrass growth--The case of Yong-Pyong golf course green: Journal of the Korean Institute of Lanscape Architecture, v. 30, p. 95-104.

Mu, J., Uehara, T., and Furuno, T., 2003, Effect of bamboo vinegar on regulation of germination and radicle growth of seed plants: Journal of Wood Science, v. 49, no. 3, p. 262-270, doi:10.1007/s10086-002-0472-z.

National Center for Biotechnology Information, 2011, Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) controlled vocabulary--Wood vinegar: National Library of Medicine, access date June 29, 2011.

Rico, C.M., Mintah, L.O., Souvandouane, S., Chung, I.K., Shin, D.I., Son, T.H., and Lee, S.C., 2007, Effects of wood vinegar mixed with cyhalofopbutyl+bentazone or butachlor+chlomazone on weed control of rice (Oryza sativa L.): Korean Journal of Weed Science, v. 27, p. 184-191.

Yatagai, M., and Unrinrin, G., 1989, By-products of wood carbonization v. germination and growth regulation effects of wood vinegar components and their homologs on plant seeds--Acids and neutrals: Mokuzai Gakkaishi, v. 35, no. 6, p. 564-571.

Yoshimoto, T., 1994, Present status of wood vinegar studies in Japan for agricultural usage, in Proceedings of the 7th International Congress of the Society for the Advancement of Breeding Researches in Asia and Oceania (SABRAO): Taichung District Agricultural Improvement Station, v. 3, p. 811-820.


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