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Official Journal of the Japan Wood Research Society

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Composition of pyrolyzate from Japanese green tea


Green tea is a beverage that is produced by hot-water extraction of the leaves of tea (Camellia sinensis L.). As the amount of green tea consumption has increased, the importance of using the residue has grown. To address this problem, chemical compositions of two pyrolyzates obtained with an electric kiln, L and G, which were obtained from the tea leaf product and its hot-water extraction residue, respectively, were examined. Both pyrolyzates were alkaline, in contrast to the acidic pHs that are typical of pyrolyzates from wood materials. The major constituents were nitrogen-containing compounds, which accounted for up to about 70% (based on gas chromatography-mass spectrometry peak area). Caffeine was the main compound in both samples, although it might not be a pyrolysis product but actually sublimates from the samples and then condenses back into the pyrolyzates. Other nitrogen-containing compounds were formed mainly from proteins and amino acids. Acids and phenols, which are typical components in pyrolyzates obtained from wood materials and contribute to acidic pH, were rare in both samples. Other neutral compounds are known as compounds in pyrolyzates from wood materials. The pyrolyzates obtained in this experiment were novel and may have new uses.

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Correspondence to Mitsuyoshi Yatagai.

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Contents of this report was presented in the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Japan Wood Research Society, Gifu, 2002

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Sakasegawa, M., Yatagai, M. Composition of pyrolyzate from Japanese green tea. J Wood Sci 51, 73–76 (2005).

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Key words

  • Japanese green tea
  • Nitrogen-containing compounds
  • Caffeine
  • Alkalinity