Samples from a 10 cm cross-sectional radius of a peatified angiosperm log from Sumatra, Indonesia, were examined by 13C nuclear magnetic resonance and pyrolysis-gas chromatography in order to understand chemical changes due to the peatification process. NMR results show degradation by selective loss of carbohydrates in all parts of the log section compared with fresh wood; however, the degree of degradation is less near the center of the log section. The degree of ring substitution of aromatic lignin monomeric units, as measured by dipolar dephasing NMR methods, appears to be less at the center of the log section than at the periphery. The methoxyl carbon content of lignin in the log is lower than in unaltered angiospermous lignin but does not appear to change as a function of either radial position or the degree of aromatic ring substitution. Pyrolysis-gas chromatography indicates higher yields of catechols in the outer areas relative to the heartwood. Other than the variations in catechol contents and in the yields of carbohydrate-derived pyrolysis products (e.g. levoglucosan, angelicalactones), the pyrolysis results do not show significant changes related to radial position, indicating that the lignin is not significantly altered across the log section. ?? 1991.
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Studies of a peatified angiosperm log cross section from Indonesia by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and analytical pyrolysis