Hertzberg stain

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A test used on papers to enhance fiber contrast as well as to detect the presence of several types of fibers. A drop of the Hertzberg stain solution will turn most non-lignin containing fibers red. Examples include Chemical wood pulp, Straw, and Bamboo. Esparto will turn violet. Lignin containing fibers, such as Mechanical wood pulp, Jute, and Hemp, will turn bright yellow.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Herzberg stain

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Preparation: Add 25 ml of solution 1 to solution 2
  • Solution 1 = saturated solution of zinc chloride in DI water
  • Solution 2 =0.25 gm iodine and 5.25 gm potassium iodide dissolved in 12.5 ml DI water

Resources and Citations

  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982

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