FTIR spectrometry combined with TG provides information regarding mass changes in a sample and permits qualitative identification
of the gases evolved during thermal degradation. Various fuels were studied: coal, peat, wood chips, bark, reed canary grass
and municipal solid waste. The gases evolved in a TG analyser were transferred to the FTIR via a heated teflon line. The spectra
and thermoanalytical curves indicated that the major gases evolved were carbon dioxide and water, while there were many minor
gases, e.g. carbon monoxide, methane, ethane, methanol, ethanol, formic acid, acetic acid and formaldehyde. Separate evolved
gas spectra also revealed the release of ammonia from biomasses and peat. Sulphur dioxide and nitric oxide were found in some
cases. The evolution of the minor gases and water parallelled the first step in the TG curve. Solid fuels dried at 100C mainly
lost water and a little ammonia.