Paper is certainly the first thing that comes to mind for most people when they think of cellulose. Of course that is correct, but it is only a fraction of the actual range of applications for this material. This natural product has many varied uses in today's society – both in its pure form or as a so-called derivative (i.e. a chemically-altered substance with a cellulose base). From a chemical standpoint, cellulose is a polysaccharide; i.e. a cellulose molecule has been assembled into a long chain from many sugar building blocks (specifically: glucose).
Through chemical transformation of the raw cellulose, many additional properties can be attained. Overall, the extraction of cellulose is a complex procedure. An entire series of mechanical and chemical steps are required, first to separate cellulose from the associated natural materials and then to refine it until chemically pure.