Amongst the renewable alternative energy sources, biomass has a large potential for commercial usage. Pyrolysis is the most important among the thermal conversion processes of biomass. In this study, slow pyrolysis of the straw and stalk of the rapeseed plant was investigated within a tubular reactor under the conditions of static atmosphere, varying temperatures of 350 degrees, 450 degrees, 550 degrees and 650 degrees C and at heating rates of 10 degrees C min(-1) and 30 degrees C:min(-1). The maximum liquid yield was observed to be evolving at 650 degrees C pyrolysis temperature and at a heating rate of 30 degrees C min(-1). The various characteristics of pyrolytic oil obtained under these conditions were identified. Following the chemical characterization, the pyrolytic oil originated from the straw and stalk of the rapeseed plant is presented as a biofuel candidate. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.