Related topics: enzyme · biofuel · ethanol

Bacterial film separates water from oil

Researchers have demonstrated that a slimy, yet tough, type of biofilm that certain bacteria make for protection and to help them move around can also be used to separate water and oil. The material may be useful for applications ...

Changing the silkworm's diet to spin stronger silk

Tohoku University researchers have produced cellulose nanofiber (CNF) synthesized silk naturally through a simple tweak to silkworms' diet. Mixing CNF with commercially available food and feeding the silkworms resulted in ...

Turning crop waste into high-value fashion products

Researchers at Cranfield University are working with partners at the University of York to develop a greener way to manufacture textiles for clothing using biomass derived from crop waste.

Determining the slenderization of wood pulp

Researchers from the Institute of Scientific and Industrial Research at Osaka University have devised a new method to determine the degree of fibrillation in wood pulp. By taking advantage of the intrinsic optical birefringence ...

Industrial waste is reused to produce alternatives to plastic

In Brazil, researchers at São Paulo State University (UNESP) in Ilha Solteira have developed a film that can replace plastic in food packaging. The film is made from hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) and bacterial cellulose ...

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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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