Pyrolysis of pistachio shell has been carried out in a well-swept fixed bed reactor. The effects of pyrolysis temperature, reaction time and sweeping gas (N-2) flow rate on product yields were investigated in the ranges of 350-650 degrees C, 10-50 min and 50-450 ml min(-1), respectively. The results showed that temperature was the most effective parameter on product yields. The liquid product was characterized by FTIR, GC-MS and MALDI-TOF-MS/LD-MS whereas the solid product was subjected to FTIR, SEM and BET surface area analyses as well as heating value determinations. The liquid product was a highly oxygenated complex mixture with 18 identified compounds, and had a higher heating value of 4645 kcal kg(-1). The solid product, as produced, was a valuable solid fuel with an energy content higher than that of sub-bituminous coal, but was found unsuitable for active carbon applications owing to its low surface area values. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.