Accurate and reproducible determination of lignin molar mass by acetobromination

J. Asikkala, Tarja Tamminen, D.S. Argyropoulos (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

87 Citations (Scopus)


The accurate and reproducible determination of lignin molar mass by using size exclusion chromatography (SEC) is challenging. The lignin association effects, known to dominate underivatized lignins, have been thoroughly addressed by reaction with acetyl bromide in an excess of glacial acetic acid. The combination of a concerted acetylation with the introduction of bromine within the lignin alkyl side chains is thought to be responsible for the observed excellent solubilization characteristics acetobromination imparts to a variety of lignin samples. The proposed methodology was compared and contrasted to traditional lignin derivatization methods. In addition, side reactions that could possibly be induced under the acetobromination conditions were explored with native softwood (milled wood lignin, MWL) and technical (kraft) lignin. These efforts lend support toward the use of room temperature acetobromination being a facile, effective, and universal lignin derivatization medium proposed to be employed prior to SEC measurements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8968-8973
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • 31P NMR
  • acetobromination
  • acetyl bromide
  • acetylation
  • derivatization
  • kraft lignin
  • lignin
  • milled wood lignin
  • molar mass determination
  • size exclusion chromatography

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