This study presents how the yields of different tar compounds from pure lignocellulosic compounds respond to the change in temperature and residence time. Experiments were carried out with a drop tube furnace in the temperature range from 800 to 1250 ºC. The tar composition was characterized by gas chromatography with a flame ionization detector and mass spectrometry using a dual detector system. Longer residence time and higher heat treatment temperatures increased the soot formation and decreased the tar yields. Soot yields from lignin samples were greater than soot yields from holocellulose pyrolysis. The dominating products in tars from pyrolysis of all lignocellulosic compounds were benzene and toluene. Cellulose and hemicellulose pyrolysis produced greater amount of oxygenates in tars, whereas lignin tar was rich in phenols, polycyclic hydrocarbons and naphthalenes. Simultaneous reduction of tar and soot was achieved by impregnation of lignin from wheat straw with alkali metals. The OPLS-DA model can accurately explain the differences in tar composition based on the experimental mass spectrometry data.