A component of the cell walls of plants. Lignin is unstable, light sensitive, and breaks down into acid compounds as it ages. Its presence in paper items contributes to their degradation over time. Lignin is found in large amounts in wood, the plant fiber most often used to make paper since the middle of the 19th century. Lignin can, to a large extent, be removed during the papermaking process, resulting in a higher quality paper.

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