, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 1205–1215 | Cite as

Effects of lignin and hemicellulose contents on dissolution of wood pulp in aqueous NaOH/urea solution

  • Zhuqun Shi
  • Quanling Yang
  • Jie Cai
  • Shigenori Kuga
  • Yuji Matsumoto
Original Paper


Four species of delignified woodchips with about 1 % lignin content (Chlorite–Woodchips) and a series of softwood pulps with different lignin contents were prepared by sodium chlorite delignification. After mechanical defibration, some Chlorite–Woodchips were directly subjected to dissolution treatment in NaOH/urea solvent; the others were first treated with NaOH solution to remove the hemicellulose to obtain NaOH–Chlorite–Woodchips or oxidized with potassium permanganate (OPP) to remove lignin completely to obtain OPP–Chlorite–Woodchips, and then subjected to the dissolution in NaOH/urea solvent. The results showed that the dissolved proportion of the Chlorite–Woodchips ranged from 36 to 46 %, the dissolved proportion of glucan was within 12 %, and most of the hemicellulose was dissolved in NaOH/urea solvent. Compared with Chlorite–Woodchips, the dissolved proportion of NaOH–Chlorite–Woodchips was lower, but their dissolved proportion of glucan was higher. After further permanganate delignification, both the dissolved proportion of the OPP–Chlorite–Woodchips and the dissolved proportion of glucan of the OPP–Chlorite–Woodchips were higher than those of the Chlorite–Woodchips. However, the dissolved proportion of glucan was still limited to only 15–30 %. The effect of the lignin content of softwood pulps on their dissolution is complicated. With the decrease of the lignin content of softwood pulp from 6.9 to 2.8 %, the dissolved proportion of pulp increased from 14 to 26 %. However, further reduction of lignin content from 2.8 to 0.3 % led to a decrease in the dissolved proportion of pulp from 26 to 12 %. The dissolved proportion of glucan followed the same tendency. These results indicated that the dissolution of wood cellulose in NaOH/urea solvent is not simply controlled by the hemicellulose and lignin contents, but also by some other factors.


Woodchip Delignified Lignin content Dissolved proportion 



We thank Prof. Akira Isogai of The University of Tokyo for his suggestions and supply of the viscometer for this work, and also appreciate the support by the China Scholarship Council (CSC) to ZS.

Supplementary material

10570_2014_226_MOESM1_ESM.doc (50 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 50 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhuqun Shi
    • 1
  • Quanling Yang
    • 1
  • Jie Cai
    • 2
  • Shigenori Kuga
    • 1
  • Yuji Matsumoto
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biomaterial Sciences, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life SciencesThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.College of Chemistry and Molecular SciencesWuhan UniversityWuhanChina

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