The discovery of lignin.


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:

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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

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