AbstractBio-oil from the pyrolysis of biomass is an important renewable source for liquid fuel. However, the application of bio-oil has been severely restricted due to its high viscosity, acidity, and low heating value. Thus, it has been necessary to upgrade bio-oil for automobile fuel via catalytic deoxygenation reactions. Herein, the effects of the zeolite ZSM-5 on the pyrolysis of four biomass materials (corn cob, corn straw, pine powder, and cellulose) were investigated via TG-FTIR (thermogravimetric analyzer coupled with a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer) to better understand the working mechanism of ZSM-5. The contents of the products of H2O, CO, CO2, and the C-O, C=O, and OH groups evolved with increasing pyrolytic temperature were monitored by FTIR. It was found that the relative contents of the C-O and C=O groups were decreased under the catalysis of ZSM-5, while the formations of CO, H2O, and the OH containing compounds were promoted. To explain the regulations, reaction routes were speculated and the catalytic conversion mechanisms were deduced.