The discovery of lignin.

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Table of Contents

Lignin is an organic substance in wood that, with cellulose, forms the principal constituent of wood tissue[1].


It was discovered by the Swiss botanist Augustin Pyramus (or Pyrame) de Candolle. In his 1815 publication[2], he described lignin (called as “lignine” by him) in the following manner:

  • A fibrous, tasteless substance which is insoluble in water and alcohol.
  • Soluble in weak alkaline solutions and precipitated by acids.
  • The basis of all woody bodies.

Here is a photograph[3] of pure lignin:

[ux_image_box img=”1004″ image_width=”50″ link=”” target=”_blank”]



Here is a portrait[4] of A. P. de Candolle:

[ux_image_box img=”1007″ image_width=”50″ link=”” target=”_blank”]



  2., page 417.
  3. pure-lignin/
  4. de_Candolle