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Official Journal of the Japan Wood Research Society

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Analysis on residue formation during wood liquefaction with polyhydric alcohol


Liquefactions of cellulose powder, steamed lignin, alkali lignin, and their mixtures were carried out to analyze the reaction process of wood using polyhydric alcohol. The liquefaction of wood proceeded immediately and wood components were converted to N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF)-soluble components. After that, the condensation reaction occurred with increasing reaction time. However, none of cellulose powder, steamed lignin, and alkali lignin condensed by themselves during their liquefaction. The mixture of cellulose and lignin was also liquefied, and condensed after a long reaction time. The results of analysis showed that the behavior of the mixture resembled that of wood with respect to molecular weight distribution and the main functional groups. Lignin was converted to DMF-soluble compounds in the initial stage of wood liquefaction, followed by cellulose gradually being converted into soluble compounds. After that, condensation reactions took place among some parts of depolymerized and degraded compounds from cellulose and lignin, and were converted into DMF-insoluble compounds. It was concluded that the rate-determining step of wood liquefaction was the depolymerization of cellulose. Furthermore, it was suggested that the condensation reaction was due to the mutual reaction among depolymerized cellulose and degraded aromatic derivatives from lignin or due to the nucleophilic displacement reaction of cellulose by phenoxide ion.

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Correspondence to Masahiko Kobayashi.

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Part of this report was presented at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Japan Wood Research Society, Gifu, April 2002

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Kobayashi, M., Asano, T., Kajiyama, M. et al. Analysis on residue formation during wood liquefaction with polyhydric alcohol. J Wood Sci 50, 407–414 (2004).

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