We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Lignin?

Mary McMahon
Updated Jun 04, 2024
Our promise to you
All Things Nature is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All Things Nature, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Lignin is a complex organic polymer found in the tissues of plants. It plays a number of important roles in plant biology, and it also has an assortment of industrial applications, making it a coveted product among certain manufacturers. In nature, lignin is created by plants, and when they are processed for various industrial purposes, it is possible to extract the lignin for an assortment of uses.

This chemical compound is found in the cell walls of plants. It binds with cellulose, another plant fiber with many uses, to make sturdy, the cell walls strong. The more lignin a plant has, the woodier it becomes; it provides the shape and form of stalks, twigs, and tree trunks. In addition to providing support and structure, the polymer also helps its parent plant conduct water, and it sequesters carbon in the plant. After a plant dies, the lignin takes more time to break down than the rest of the plant, slowly releasing carbon back into the natural environment.

For humans, wood with a lot of lignin has been recognized as useful for centuries. The more a wood has, the sturdier and stronger it will be, making it suitable for more tasks. Lignin also burns very efficiently, which makes heavily lignified woods like oak popular as fuel, as well. The substance was named in 1819, after the Latin lignum, which means “wood,” referencing its important role in the structure and development of wood.

When extracted from timber and plant products, lignin can be included in a wide variety of things. It can be used as an emulsifying, sequestering, binding, or dispersal agent, depending on how it is processed and what it is used with, appearing in everything from paints to treatments for roadways. Many paper mills and lumber processing facilities view lignin as a valuable byproduct of their industrial processes, extracting and selling it to other industries.

Chances are very high that any person has a product which contains lignin in his or her vicinity, aside from the obvious furnishings and construction materials. It appears in a wide variety of chemicals from synthetic flavorings to textile dyes, and it can also be found in a wide variety of industrial materials. People also consume lignin every day, in the cells walls of the fruits and vegetables included in their diet. Most that is used in manufacturing is extracted from timber, often in paper mills, where wood is shredded, pulped, and treated to produce paper, extracting the lignin it contains in the process.

All Things Nature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a All Things Nature researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon290758 — On Sep 11, 2012

I am Ali from Finland. At the moment I have started working on a research project in Austria regarding Lignin. Can someone tell me something about the conversion of lignin to fuel, like alkaline.

By anon106776 — On Aug 27, 2010

Deterioration of lignin differs from plant to plant depends upon its composition of structural units. isolated lignins usually starts their degradation around 200 degrees temperature, and melt between 600-700 degrees. But thermal stability is dependent upon plant source and isolation procedure.

By msusparty22 — On Mar 20, 2009

Lignin starts to deteriorate at what temperature? At what temperature is it combustible?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.