UKPCS Science Chemistry: Cellulose #76

Oracle IAS, the best coaching institute for UPSC/IAS/PCS preparation in Dehradun brings to you UKPCS Science Chemistry (paper 6- Cellulose.

Cellulose is an organic compound with the formula (C6H10O5)n, a polysaccharide consisting of a linear chain of several hundred to many thousands of β(1→4) linked D-glucose units. It is an important 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. It is the most abundant organic polymer on Earth.The cellulose content of cotton fiber is 90%, that of wood is 40–50% and that of dried hemp is approximately 57%.Cellulose

Some animals, particularly ruminants and termites, can digest cellulose with the help of symbiotic micro-organisms that live in their guts, such as Trichonympha. In human nutrition, cellulose acts as a hydrophilic bulking agent for feces and is often referred to as “dietary fiber”.


  • Paper products: It is the major constituent of paper, paperboard, and card stock.
  • Fibers: It is the main ingredient of textiles made from cotton, linen, and other plant fibers. It can be turned into rayon.
  • Energy crops: The major combustible component of non-food energy crops is cellulose, with lignin second.
  • Biofuel
  • Miscellaneous: It can be converted into cellophane, a thin transparent film.

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Hemant Bhatt
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