The pyrolysis yields of rapeseed were investigated applying thermogravimetric analysis technique. The pyrolysis experiments were performed up to 1273 K at heating rates of 5, 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 K/min in a dynamic nitrogen flow of 40 cc/min. Effects of heating rate on the mass losses from the rapeseed were examined using the derivative thermogravimetric analysis profiles. This study showed that important differences on the pyrolytic behavior of rapeseed are observed when heating rate is changed. At the lower heating rates, the maximum rates of mass losses were relatively low. When the heating rate was increased, maximum rates of mass losses also increased. These variations were interpreted by the heterogeneous structure of biomass. Heating rates also concluded to affect the shape of the peaks. Increase in the heating rate shifted the main peak on the DTG profile to the lower temperatures. At low heating rates, there is probably resistance to mass or heat transfer inside the biomass particles. However, increase in heating rate overcame these restrictions, and led to higher conversion rates. The final pyrolysis temperatures were also affected from the variation of the heating rate. Activation energy values were first increased and then decreased depending on the heating rates. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.