The building material of the cell walls and fibres of plants.
cellulose, cellulose molecule, fibre, carbohydrate, polysaccharide, cellobiose, plant cell wall, hydrogen bond, organic chemistry, chemistry
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 stabilised by hydrogen bonds within the chain. Hydrogen bonds also form between the molecules, stabilising the parallel structure of the chains. Batches of parallel cellulose chains are called cellulose fibres.
Occurrence and production
Cellulose is found in the fibres 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 fibres 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.
Cellulose is used in the production of paper, textile, plastics and explosives.
One of the stereoisomers of D-glucose.
Cellobiose is the basic structural unit of cellulose.
Alpha-D-glucose is one of the stereoisomers of glucoses, specifically the D-glucoses.
A helical molecule consisting of alpha-D-glucose units. It is one of the basic components of starch.
Fructose is the sweetest of the simple carbohydrates.
The sweetest type of sugar.
The primary source of energy for living cells.
The animations demonstrates the structure of a typical flower.
This animation demonstrates how electric steam irons work.
A type of sugar found in mammalian milk.
Paper was invented more than two thousand years ago.
The animation demonstrates the process of ring closure of open-chain glucose into alpha- and beta-D-glucose.
A white, water-soluble, sweet compound known as sugar.
Eukaryotic cells contain a number of organelles.
A disaccharide formed by the joining of two alpha-D-glucose molecules.
Polymerised ethylene is known as polyethylene, a type of plastic.
An exercise about the groups and structure of mono-, di- and polysaccharides.