Major components of cell wall materials, that is a-cellulose, hemicellulose, pectin and lignin, were isolated from tobacco leaves. They were heated in a micro-thermobalance in different atmospheres and at different heating rates. The weight loss rate of the sample materials, production rates of carbon oxides and smoke particles produced were measured. In general, materials which produce more carbon oxides produce less smoke particulate mass. In helium at a heating rate of 240°C/min, which attempts to approximate the burning conditions of a cigarette, weight ratios of smoke particles to the sample weight were 32 % for a-cellulose, 24 % for lignin, 3 % for hemicellulose and 0.4 % for pectin. Since a-cellulose is a major constituent of the cell wall of tobacco leaves and has the highest production rate, it can be concluded that a-cellulose is a major contributor to the production of smoke particles from cigarettes. On the contrary, pectin contributes the least.
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