Delignification from the cell walls with a combination of ozone oxidation and dioxane–water extraction using thin sections of a softwood, Japanese cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa Endl.), was studied to determine its suitability for the production of recyclable cellulose-based materials from wood waste. The visible-light absorption spectra of treated wood sections revealed that delignification from the cell walls with ozone increased with increasing ozonization time. Ozone delignification proceeded from the lumen side toward the middle lamella within the secondary wall of a cell, and it proceeded faster in early wood than in late wood within an annual ring. Mild ozonization for 10–30 min was sufficient for the removal of lignin from the cell walls when sections were extracted with dioxane after ozonization. The results obtained here demonstrate that microspectrometry coupled with the Wiesner reaction is useful for the quantitative analysis of lignin in cell walls.
Key words: Ozonization - Dioxane - Lignin - Cell wall - Microspectrophotometry