Related topics: enzyme · biofuel · ethanol

Research team develops wood-based foam to keep buildings cooler

Summertime is almost here, a time when many people try to beat the heat. But running air conditioners constantly can be expensive and wasteful. Now, researchers reporting in the ACS journal Nano Letters have designed a lightweight ...

Avocado meal may be a novel fiber source for dogs

When avocados were first recognized as a nutrient-dense superfood for humans, consumption skyrocketed. Today, consumers buy and eat the fresh fruit (hello, avocado toast), purchase pre-packaged guacamole, cook with avocado ...

Ecological coating for bananas

Plastic packaging in grocery stores protects fruits and vegetables from spoilage, but also creates significant amounts of waste. Together with the retailer Lidl Switzerland, Empa researchers have now developed a protective ...

Salvaging rare earth elements from electronic waste

Manufacturers rely on rare earth elements, like neodymium, to create strong magnets used in motors for electronics including hybrid cars, aircraft generators, loudspeakers, hard drives and in-ear headphones. But mineral deposits ...

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Cellulose

Cellulose is an organic compound with the formula (C6H10O5)n, a polysaccharide consisting of a linear chain of several hundred to over ten thousand β(1→4) linked D-glucose units.

Cellulose is the structural component of the primary cell wall of green plants, many forms of algae and the oomycetes. Some species of bacteria secrete it to form biofilms. Cellulose is the most common organic compound on Earth. About 33 percent of all plant matter is cellulose (the cellulose content of cotton is 90 percent and that of wood is 50 percent).

For industrial use, cellulose is mainly obtained from wood pulp and cotton. It is mainly used to produce cardboard and paper; to a smaller extent it is converted into a wide variety of derivative products such as cellophane and rayon. Converting cellulose from energy crops into biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol is under investigation as an alternative fuel source.

Some animals, particularly ruminants and termites, can digest cellulose with the help of symbiotic micro-organisms that live in their guts. Cellulose is not digestible by humans and is often referred to as 'dietary fiber' or 'roughage', acting as a hydrophilic bulking agent for feces.

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