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Cellulose (C₆H₁₀O₅)n

Cellulose (C₆H₁₀O₅)n

The building material of the cell walls and fibers of plants.

Chemistry

Keywords

cellulose, cellulose molecule, fiber, carbohydrate, polysaccharide, cellobiose, plant cell wall, hydrogen bond, organic chemistry, chemistry

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Scenes

Cellulose (C₆H₁₀O₅)n

Properties

Cellulose is a polysaccharide. It is insoluble in water and other solvents. It is non-reducing. It can be broken down into its constituent glucose units when treated with concentrated acids at a high temperature, or into cellobiose unity by weak acid hydrolisis. Several thousand beta-D-glucose components are linked in the cellulose molecule by 1,4-bonds. Molecules in the chain are at a 180° angle in relation to each other. As a result, long filaments, or strands, are formed.

The configuration is stabilized by hydrogen bonds within the chain. Hydrogen bonds also form between the molecules, stabilizing the parallel structure of the chains. Batches of parallel cellulose chains are called cellulose fibers.

Occurrence and production

Cellulose is found in the fibers and cell walls of plants. Its purest form is found in cotton threads. A tree contains around 50% cellulose.

Humans are not able to digest cellulose, but fibers are important for the appropriate functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. Ruminants, such as cattle, can digest cellulose. Cellulose is produced from wood, reed, straw, corn or sunflower stems by a special process.

Uses

Cellulose is used in the production of paper, textile, plastics and explosives.

Related items

Beta-D-glucose (C₆H₁₂O₆)

One of the stereoisomers of D-glucose.

Cellobiose (C₁₂H₂₂O₁₁)

Cellobiose is the basic structural unit of cellulose.

Alpha-D-glucose (C₆H₁₂O₆)

Alpha-D-glucose is one of the stereoisomers of glucoses, specifically the D-glucoses.

Amylose ((C₆H₁₀O₅)n)

A helical molecule consisting of alpha-D-glucose units. It is one of the basic components of starch.

Beta-D-fructose (fruit sugar) (C₆H₁₂O₆)

Fructose is the sweetest of the simple carbohydrates.

D-glucose (dextrose) (C₆H₁₂O₆)

The primary source of energy for living cells.

Flower

The animations demonstrates the structure of a typical flower.

How does it work? - Electric steam iron

This animation demonstrates how electric steam irons work.

Lactose (C₁₂H₂₂O₁₁)

A type of sugar found in mammalian milk.

Papermaking

Paper was invented more than two thousand years ago.

Ring closure of glucose

The animation demonstrates the process of ring closure of open-chain glucose into alpha- and beta-D-glucose.

Saccharose (sucrose) (C₁₂H₂₂O₁₁)

A white, water-soluble, sweet compound known as sugar.

Animal and plant cells, cellular organelles

Eukaryotic cells contain a number of organelles.

Maltose (malt sugar) (C₁₂H₂₂O₁₁)

A disaccharide formed by the joining of two alpha-D-glucose molecules.

Polymerization of ethene

Polymerized ethylene is known as polyethylene, a type of plastic.

Molecule exercise VI (Carbohydrates)

An exercise about the groups and structure of mono-, di- and polysaccharides.

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