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International Journal of the Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Technology of Wood

Editor-in-Chief: Faix, Oskar

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Changes in the lignin-carbohydrate complex in softwood kraft pulp during kraft and oxygen delignification

Martin Lawoko1 / Rickard Berggren2 / Fredrik Berthold3 / Gunnar Henriksson4 / Göran Gellerstedt5






Citation Information: Holzforschung. Volume 58, Issue 6, Pages 603–610, ISSN (Print) 0018-3830, DOI: 10.1515/HF.2004.114, June 2005

Publication History

January 6, 2004
Published Online:


Three kraft pulps in the kappa number range between 50 and 20 and the same pulps oxygen-delignified to similar lignin contents (kappa approximately 6) were analyzed for lignin-carbohydrate complexes (LCC) by a method based on selective enzymatic hydrolysis of the cellulose, and quantitative fractionation of the LCC. Between 85 and 90% of residual lignin in the unbleached kraft pulp and all residual lignin in the oxygen-delignified pulps were isolated as LCC. Three types of complexes were found; viz., xylan-lignin, glucomannan-lignin-xylan and glucanlignin complexes. After pulping to a high kappa number, most of the residual lignin was linked to xylan. Different delignification rates were observed so that most of the residual lignin was linked to glucomannan when the pulping was extended to a low kappa number. With increasing degree of oxygen delignification, a similar trend in the delignification rates of LCC was observed so that the residual lignin was increasingly linked to glucomannan. Complex LCC network structures seemed to be degraded into simpler structures during delignification. The differences in delignification rates are discussed with reference to the solubility properties and structural differences of LCC, and to morphological aspects of the pulp.

Keywords: bleachability; kappa number; kraft pulping; lignin-carbohydrate complex (LCC); oxygen delignification; residual lignin; specific absorptivity

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