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Paper | Regular issue | Vol 55, No. 1, 2001, pp.59-74
Published online, 1st January, 1970
DOI: 10.3987/COM-00-9025
Thermal Pathways for the Transfer of Amines, Including Nicotine, to the Gas Phase and Aerosols

Jay A Fournier,* John B. Paine III, Jeffrey I. Seeman,* Daniel W. Armstrong,* and Xianghong Chen

*Research Center, Philip Morris USA, P.O. Box 26853, Rcihmond, Vierginia 23261, U.S.A.


Two pathways are proposed to explain the thermal transfer and/or pyrolysis of amines, a major class of plant constituents, to smoke. A crucial distinction is made based on the relative ease of evaporation of the amines compared to the ease of their pyrolytic decomposition. The temperatures required to transfer nicotine to the gas phase from nicotine and nicotine carboxylic acid salts, such as are found in tobacco, are lower than the decomposition temperatures of the nicotine ring system. Thermal gradient studies may better mimic the balance between evaporation and pyrolytic destruction of tobacco volatiles and semi-volatiles during smoking, as such thermolyses are performed by heating the substrate from ambient temperature to a higher temperature under a flow of gas.