Cellulose

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The chemical formula for cellulose

Cellulose is the main chemical that forms the main structure of plants. It is the most abundant macromolecule on Earth. It is also fiber. Cellulose is a very complex carbohydrate and consisting of 3,000 or more glucose units. Cellulose was discovered by Anselme Payen discovered in 1838. He isolated it from plant matter and determined its chemical formula. Cellulose is the most common organic compound on Earth.

Properties[change | change source]

Cellulose has no taste. It is odorless and hydrophilic.[1] It is insoluble in water and most organic solvents. It is chiral and is biodegradable.[2]

Cellulose is made from a form of glucose and makes up most of the cell wall of plant cells. This is what keeps a plant in shape. Humans and other animals cannot digest cellulose but some animals such as termites and ruminants use bacteria to digest it.

It is a polysaccharide, which is repeating units of a monosaccharide joined together by a glycosidic bond by a condensation reaction, there is a by-product of water, found in plants. It is very tough because when you join beta glucose together, they are opposite ways up, the bonds are straight, forming straight chains. There is hydrogen bonds between the polymers.

These fibers are in bundles of about 40, called microfibrils. Microfibrils are embedded in a hydrated network of other polysaccharides. The cell wall is assembled in place. The parts are made inside the cell and then assembled by enzymes associated with the cell membrane.

Uses[change | change source]

How cellulose looks like the cotton

It is mainly used to make paper. It is also used to make as cotton, linen, and rayon for clothes, nitrocellulose for explosives, and cellulose acetate for films.[3] Cellulose is used as insulation in transformers, cables, and other electrical equipment.[4] Microcrystalline cellulose and powdered cellulose are used as inactive fillers in drug tablets. Cellulose derivatives are used as emulsifiers, thickeners and stabilizers in processed foods.[5] Cellulose can be converted into cellophane. Cellulose is used to make water-soluble adhesives and binders such as methyl cellulose and carboxymethyl cellulose.

References[change | change source]

  1. Bishop, Charles A. (2007). Vacuum deposition onto webs, films, and foils. Norwich, NY: William Andrew Pub. ISBN 978-0-8155-1947-8. OCLC 183666049.
  2. Wyman, Charles E. (1994). "Ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass: Technology, economics, and opportunities". Bioresource Technology. 50 (1): 3–15. doi:10.1016/0960-8524(94)90214-3.
  3. "Cellulose - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics". www.sciencedirect.com. Retrieved 2020-05-20.
  4. Kohman, G. T. (1939). "Cellulose as an Insulating Material". Industrial & Engineering Chemistry. 31 (7): 807–817. doi:10.1021/ie50355a005. ISSN 0019-7866.
  5. Excipient toxicity and safety. Weiner, Myra L., 1944-, Kotkoskie, Lois A. New York: M. Dekker. 2000. ISBN 0-8247-8210-0. OCLC 42649682.CS1 maint: others (link)