Because of the occurrence of prominent series of homologous ions in the pyrolysis mass spectra of some groups of compounds (e.g. "Lipids", Group D, "Humic materials and geopolymers", Group F), the authors have endeavoured to mark such ion series in the spectra. In order to achieve some degree of uniformity, thereby facilitating quick comparisons between spectra, the following ion series have been marked in many spectra regardless of their relative importance in each spectrum:
In addition, other ion series have occasionally been marked in the spectra. It should be stressed, however, that the use of ion series markings does not constitute an attempt at full chemical identification of the homologous ion series involved.
Notwithstanding their limited chemical significance, the authors have found ion series markings very useful in performing a first rapid qualitative evaluation of pyrolysis mass spectra.
Finally peaks and/or peak series pointing to certain chemical components have sometimes been marked using the following symbols:
A uronic acid fragment
L lignin fragment
N N-acetylamino sugar fragment
P protein fragment
S sulphur-containing fragment
/ special feature; discussed under "Remarks".
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