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Cellulose



Cellulose (enlarged image under a microscope)

What is (definition)

Cellulose is a "long chain" polymer that is composed of a single carbohydrate (carbohydrate) monomer, classified as a polysaccharide. It is the primary structural component of plants and is not digestible by man.

Main characteristics of pulp

Before we continue the pulp business, it would be interesting to know a little about polymers, monomers and polysaccharides.

Polymers are chemical compounds of high relative molecular mass resulting from polymerization chemical reactions (chemical reaction that gives rise to polymers).

Monomers are small molecules that can bind to other monomers to form larger molecules called polymers, which we saw in the previous paragraph.

Polysaccharides are carbohydrates that, through hydrolysis, produce a large amount of monosaccharides. They are natural polymers, for example, cellulose is a glucose polymer (Cellulose + n H2O → n glucose).

We can then understand that polysaccharides are macromolecules formed by the union of many monosaccharides.

As we saw above, cellulose is a polymer of glucose. It is commonly found on the cell walls of living beings in the Plant Kingdom.

The fibrous texture of cellulose allows it to be used in the textile industry on fabrics such as cotton, linen and synthetic silk.

Where is it found?

In general, we can understand that cellulose is naturally found in most pure cotton fibers and is found throughout the plant in the combination of lignin (amorphous three-dimensional polymer found in terrestrial plants) with any hemicellulose (polysaccharides).