This study presents the characterization of pyrolysis oil obtained from linseed (Linum usitatissimum L.) produced by slow pyrolysis in the maximum yield. The pyrolysis oil was analyzed to determine its elemental composition and calorific value. The chemical composition of the pyrolysis oil and fractions were investigated using chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques ((1)H NMR, IR, and GC). The chemical class composition of the oil was determined by liquid column chromatographic fractionation. The oil was separated into pentane soluble and insoluble fractions by using pentane. The column was eluted successively with n-pentane, toluene and methanol to yield aliphatic, aromatic and polar fractions, respectively. The results of the adsorption chromatography of the oil showed that the pyrolysis oil consists of 88 wt% n-pentane soluble. The aliphatic, aromatic and polar fractions of oils obtained in slow pyrolysis are 30, 34, 36 wt%, respectively. The aliphatic and aromatic subtraction make up similar to 64 wt% in slow pyrolysis oil. This seems to be more appropriate for the production of hydrocarbons and chemicals. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.