Pyrolysis of canola oil

This is a topic that I cannot find much information about. I would like to know what compounds are in the products formed from pyrolysis of canola oil. I found out by accident that when trying to ignite some used canola oil in an aluminum can without a cover, the oil had become a mix of black solids and black liquid. I have not tried heating the oil in a container that has no exposure to oxygen. I could probably get better results by limiting all exposure to oxygen. I recently tried this experiment again and the oil is slowly turning black and looking like crude oil. I did find one article on this subject that says there are alkenes in the oil. Does anyone have more information on this?

1 Answer

Basically canola oil is obtained from a cultivated form of Rapeseed. Canola oil is just what rapeseed oil is called in North America. From a marketing perspective it was thought that having the term "rape" in the product name would not help sales.

If you look for articles on rapeseed oil pyrolysis you'll find a lot of information since rapeseed (canola) oil is used in biodiesel production.

This article states that the major products produced from pyrolysis in a reactor include

• gases: $\ce{CO2, CO, CH4}$ and $\ce{H2S}$
• oils: oleic acid, 1H-indole, 2,3,5-trimethoxy toluene, toluene, (Z)-9-octadecanamide, psoralene, phenol and phenol derivatives

I didn't know what "psoralene" was, so here is a picture and a link