About Pyrolyscience

Pyrolyscience provides analytical and scientific services for the assessment of the molecular composition of natural organic matter by means of Py-GC-MS (conventional analytical pyrolysis) and THM-GC-MS (thermally assisted hydrolysis and methylation). Due to the complexities of pyrolytic reactions, good research in this field requires ample knowledge and experience. As a result these molecular tools are infra-utilized in many fields. Pyrolyscience focuses on providing that know-how, especially in the fields of the Earth and Heritage Science. By engaging in data evaluation up to the final phases of scientific research (publication in peer-reviewed  journals), clients can explore the realms of analytical pyrolysis without investing in equipment or training/hiring qualified personnel. In this sense, Pyrolyscience represents a different way of performing science not only in terms of methodology, but also in the nature of research collaboration through public–private partnerships (PPP). If done correctly, this kind of research is time- and cost-efficient. 

Pyrolyscience also aims to provide a platform on analytical pyrolysis research and outreach through its website Pyrolyscience.com. This includes comments and research articles in Analytical Pyrolysis Letters (see section Journal). This aims to facilitate discussions on analytical pyrolysis of natural organic matter away from the general science communication media.


Pyrolyscience’s mission is to breathe fresh air into analytical pyrolysis applications, particularly in the fields of Earth Science and Heritage Science (in a wide sense: agronomy, archaeology, archaeometry, ecology, limnology, organic geochemistry, palaeoclimatology, petroleum science, soil science, etc.).

Pyrolyscience provides high-quality analysis and data evaluation in the field of analytical pyrolysis, in particular pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (Py-GC-MS) and associated methods such as derivatization-Py-GC-MS (e.g. THM-GC-MS). Analytical pyrolysis is a rapid and straightforward approach to identification of organic polymers and mixtures thereof. These are cleaved by thermal energy in inert gas (pyrolysis) and their products separated by GC and identified by means of MS. Especially in complex samples such analysis allows for a rapid screening of virtually all the organic constituents present in a sample.

Pyrolyscience has experience with the characterization of diverse environments and materials such as soil organic matter (SOM) from soils around the world (drylands, permafrost, paddy fields, colluvial soils, tropical soils, etc.), lacustrine sediments, speleothems, dissolved organic matter (DOM), Blue Carbon ecosystems (coastal plants, seagrass sediments, mangrove sediments, tidal marsh), Black Carbon materials (anthropogenic dark earths, charcoal, biochar, urban dust, ceramics), geological materials (coal, kerogen, amber) and diverse archaeological and historical samples (a.o. paintings, bones, mummies, jewels) (Applications).

Pyrolyscience has active partnerships with the Institute of Agrarian Sciences (ICA-CSIC, Madrid, Spain), Institute of Heritage Sciences (Incipit-CSIC, Santiago de Compostela, Spain), ECOPAST (Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain), NOMLAB (Southwest University, Chongqing, China) and Lablicate GmbH (Hamburg, Germany).


Joeri Kaal


Joeri Kaal finished his MSc. in Earth Sciences at IBED of University of Amsterdam studying tannin adsorption by synthetic soils. He completed his PhD research on the fire history of Galicia in 2011 – using molecular (Py-GC-MS, NMR), pollen (palynology) and charcoal (anthracology) records – at the University of Santiago de Compostela and the Institute of Heritage Sciences (Incipit, CSIC). Since then, he worked as an independent scientist performing palaeoecological and analytical pyrolysis research. Working at both the soil science department of the University of Santiago de Compostela and the Incipit, being responsible of an organic chemistry lab, allowed him to work with a large variety of organic materials from Earth and Heritage science, gaining experience and versatility. In 2018, he launched Pyrolyscience. Joeri’s publication record can be found on Google Scholar, Researchgate, Orcid or Scopus.

Scientific Advisory Board

Prof. Dr. Felipe Criado Boado

Member of the Scientific Advisory Board

Since 2001, Felipe is director of the Institute of Heritage Sciences (Incipit) of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) in Santiago de Compostela. Between 2018 and 2022 he was President of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) where he is now chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee. Lecturer at the University of Santiago de Compostela from 1984 to 2000. Director of Humanities and Social Sciences of CSIC. Author of twelve scientific books and monographies, around 150 research articles in international and Spanish journals, 100 papers presented at national and international congresses, and about 60 dissemination and educational papers. Supervisor of 18 PhD and 53 MPhil Dissertations. Major research areas: Landscape Archaeology (mostly dealing with Megalithism and origins of monumental architecture, Rock art and formation of peasant landscapes); Archaeological theory (special interest on interpretive theory, critical heritage studies and public science); and Heritage Studies (with focus on the developments of archaeological and heritage knowledge for the production and social use of cultural values).

Prof. Dr. Antonio Martínez Cortizas

Member of the Scientific Advisory Board

Professor of Soil Science, University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain), since 2007; former member of the Scientific Committee of the Centre for Advanced Studies (USC), Advisor of the Archaeometry Service (USC), Advisor on Research Strategic Plans (Vicerectorate of Investigatigation and Innovation – USC); at present, member of the Heritage Comission of the Consello da Cultura Galega. Author of over 200 research papers in international and Spanish journals, 60 chapters/contributions to books, author/editor of books (5) and journals special issues (3), over 100 presentations in conferences and more than 50 invited talks. Supervisor of 19 PhD and 43 MSc (and related). About 20 stays in international research institutions. Main research areas: palaeoenvironmental reconstruction (climate and vegetation change, soil erosion, atmospheric metal pollution); environmental geochemistry; archaeometry of archaeological sites and artifacts; wetlands; soil science. He is the coordinator of the EcoPast research group of USC.

Prof. Dr. Marta Camps Arbestain

Member of the Scientific Advisory Board

Marta Camps obtained her MSc. and PhD. at the University of California Davis (1990-1995) and was active as faculty staff at the University of Santiago de Compostela and at the Basque Institute of Agricultural Research (Spain) before accepting a position as full Professor at Massey University (New Zealand) in 2009, where she is still affiliated. She also has a role as a NBS (Nature Based Solutions) consultant for Shell. Marta’s research focuses on improving our understanding of plant-soil interactions, with emphasis on inorganic and organic applied geochemistry approaches. She has a particular interest in the use of biochar as a soil amendment, on which she co-edited the book Biochar: A Guide to Analytical Methods. Assessment of the influence of global warming on incorporation and decay processes of SOM is also a central theme of her research. After several decades of using Py-GC-MS and many other techniques for SOM characterization, she has concluded that analytical pyrolysis is the best method for detailed SOM fingerprinting, and actively promotes the use of analytical pyrolysis in soil research. Marta authored >100 research articles (Orcid).

Dr. César Plaza de Carlos

Member of the Scientific Advisory Board

César Plaza graduated in Chemistry in 1998 and completed his PhD in 2002 at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain). At the Institute of Agrarian Sciences (ICA-CSIC, Madrid), César leads the Sustainable Agriculture and Biogeochemistry research group. His research focuses on mechanisms of soil organic matter stabilization and C sequestration, in addition to organic waste amendment strategies in agriculture (composting, pyrolysis, etc.). He has a particular interest in SOM dynamics in dryland ecosystems. César (co-)authored more than 100 publications (Orcid). César has served as Chair of the Soil Chemistry Subdivision of the European Geosciences Union (2016-2018) and is a Member of the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture Expert Group on Fertilization (2020-).

Dr. Ir. Klaas G.J. NIerop

Member of the Scientific Advisory Board

Klaas Nierop studied Chemical Technology with specialisation in organic chemistry at Twente University. After obtaining his PhD at Wageningen University on organic matter in incipient podzols he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Amsterdam on soil (organic matter) chemistry, meanwhile meeting Joeri. Moving to Utrecht University (UU) he changed from terrestrial to marine geochemistry and currently works as an analytical (geo)chemist at the organic geochemical and stable isotope labs of the GeoLab. He functions as the interface between scientists, technicians and students, which he advises on analytical and organic chemical techniques. He is Associate Editor of Organic Geochemistry and has published 100 papers in internationally refereed journals. Klaas is a renowned expert in the field of analytical pyrolysis. He has unparalleled knowledge on aliphatic and phenolic macromolecules in soils and sediments and their characterization using analytical pyrolysis. Research interest include analytical development and application of biomarkers (both extractable lipids and biopolymers) to trace (past) environmental conditions.