Cellulose

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.


Cellulose

Cellulose is a white substance insoluble in water, which is found in cotton in an almost pure form (up to 95%), but is primarily extracted from wood because that is most easily cultivated and processed by all cellulose suppliers.

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Cellulose derivatives

The product group "cellulose derivatives" is subclassified by the type of chemical treatment into cellulose acetates, cellulose ethers and cellulose esters. The technical applications of these materials are found in fibers, films, photographic films, glass substitute and paint binders or paper pastes, adhesives, soaps and synthetic resins.

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Nitrocellulose

Various flammable, explosive compounds known as nitrocelluloses (NC) are formed through esterification of cellulose with nitric acid and sulfuric acid.

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