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J Agric Food Chem. 2013 Mar 13;61(10):2434-45. doi: 10.1021/jf304686x. Epub 2013 Feb 26.

Structural characterization of lignin isolated from coconut (Cocos nucifera) coir fibers.

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  • 1Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Agrobiología de Sevilla (IRNAS), CSIC , PO Box 1052, E-41080 Seville, Spain.


The structure of the isolated milled "wood" lignin from coconut coir has been characterized using different analytical methods, including Py-GC/MS, 2D NMR, DFRC, and thioacidolysis. The analyses demonstrated that it is a p-hydroxyphenyl-guaiacyl-syringyl (H-G-S) lignin, with a predominance of G units (S/G ratio 0.23) and considerable amounts of associated p-hydroxybenzoates. Two-dimensional NMR indicated that the main substructures present in this lignin include β-O-4' alkyl aryl ethers followed by phenylcoumarans and resinols. Two-dimensional NMR spectra also indicated that coir lignin is partially acylated at the γ-carbon of the side chain with p-hydroxybenzoates and acetates. DFRC analysis showed that acetates preferentially acylate the γ-OH in S rather than in G units. Despite coir lignin's being highly enriched in G-units, thioacidolysis indicated that β-β' resinol structures are mostly derived from sinapyl alcohol. Finally, we find evidence that the flavone tricin is incorporated into the coconut coir lignin, as has been recently noted for various grasses.

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