Table 9 lists the current applications of analytical pyrolysis techniques. Although far from complete, this list makes it clear that analytical pyrolysis techniques are used in all scientific and technological fields dealing with complex organic materials. In the context of this book, only applications to the analysis of biomaterials in the broadest sense will be discussed. This leaves out the analysis of synthetic polymer's which is of vital importance to such diverse fields as polymer science (ref. 8), forensic science (ref. 148) and the technology of plastics, fibres and coatings (ref. 149). Some excellent reviews dealing with applications of analytical pyrolysis techniques in biomedicine (refs. 11, 12) and more specifically in the identification of microorganisms (ref. 150) have recently been published. The following discussion of selected applications to biomaterials has been divided into four sections: medical, biological, environmental and biogeochemical.
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