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Light-Induced Yellowing of Wood-Containing Papers

An Evolution of the Mechanism

  • Cyril Heitner
    Cyril Heitner
    Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada, 570 Boulevard St. Jean, Pointe Claire, Quebec H9R 3J9, Canada
DOI: 10.1021/bk-1992-0531.ch001
  • Free to Read
Publication Date (Print):June 11, 1993
Copyright © 1993 American Chemical Society. This publication is available under these Terms of Use.
Photochemistry of Lignocellulosic Materials
Chapter 1pp 2-25
ACS Symposium SeriesVol. 531
ISBN13: 9780841226920eISBN: 9780841213876

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Abstract

Fifty years of research has shown that light-induced yellowing of mechanical and ultra-high yield pulps proceeds through a photooxidative discolouration of lignin in the fibre wall. At least four reaction pathways were identified: (1) direct absorption of uv light by conjugated phenolic groups to form the phenoxyl free-radical, (2) abstraction of phenolic hydroxyl hydrogen as a result of aromatic carbonyl triplet excitation to produce a ketyl and phenoxyl free-radical, (3) cleavage of non-phenolic phenacyl-α-O-arylethers to phenacyl-phenoxyl free radical pairs, and (4) abstraction of the benzylic hydrogen of the guaiacylglycerol-β-arylether group to form the ketyl free-radical which in turn undergoes cleavage of the β-O-4 aryl ether bond to produce an enol and phenoxy free radical. Alkoxyl and peroxyl free-radicals produced from the reaction of oxygen and lignin free-radicals react with the phenoxy free-radical formed to produce the quinonoid coloured chromophore.

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