Pyrolysis of waste biomasses was carried out at the temperatures of 450 and 500 degrees C by heating at 5 degrees C min(-1). Products were collected from emitted gases in a nitrogen purge stream; condensable liquids in the gases were collected by condensation. Gaseous, condensed liquid products and residual solids were collected and analyzed. Condensates were extracted with ether to recover the bio oils (BOs). The maximum liquid yield was obtained from the pyrolysis of soybean oil cake (SBOC) at 500 degrees C with a yield of 60% ca. The BO was higher in the case of SBOC than that of sunflower oil cake (SFOC) at the temperatures of 450 and 500 degrees C. With increasing temperature, bio char yield from the pyrolysis of SFOC decreased, while the liquid yield increased. The increase in temperature did not significantly affect the product distribution for the pyrolysis of SBOC. The compositions of BOs were similar for both SBOC and SFOC. Phenols, phenol derivatives including guaiacols and alkyl-benzenes were the most common and predominant in BOs from both the pyrolysis of SBOC and SFOC. Carbon dioxide was the major gas product for both SBOC and SFOC. Copyright (C) 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.