Contact: Bob Ratliff
A major by-product of the papermaking process is the subject of a new book co-edited by a Mississippi State University faculty member.
"Lignin: Historical, Biological, and Materials Perspectives" is the editing collaboration of Tor P. Schultz, a professor in MSU's Forest and Wildlife Research Center; Wolfgang Glasser of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and University; and Robert Northey of the University of Washington.
Lignin is the organic substance that binds the cellulose fibers in wood and some plants. It also adds strength and stiffness to the cell walls.
Published by the American Chemical Society, the 559-page work is designed to serve as a quick, comprehensive reference for veteran scientists and new graduate students alike, Schultz said.
"The chemical pulping of wood is one of the 10 largest industrial activities in North America, and the removal of lignin from wood is an important part of the process," he added.
In Mississippi, the pulp and paper industry employs almost 22,000 people and contributes $2.6 billion annually to the state's economy.
"Use of lignin produced by the pulp and papermaking process has resulted in products ranging from road-dust binders to a polymer component in printed circuit boards," Schultz said. "More than one million tons of lignin are now being sold worldwide annually."