What Is the Function of Cellulose?

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Where Is Cellulose Found?....5

The function of cellulose is to provide the strength and structure of plant leaves, but it can also be used to make paper and explosives. Discover how cellulose gives strength to cotton with help from a science teacher and field biologist in this free video on biology.

Part of the Video Series: Biology & Organic Chemistry
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Brian with ericksontutoring.blogspot.com. Today we're going to discuss the function of cellulose. First of all cellulose is a organic compound. It's actually a polysaccharide which means it's a long chain of sugars. And in particular cellulose is glucose which comes from photosynthesis, a whole long chain up to thousands of glucose molecules connected end to end. They're connected in a really straight line and because of the structure of glucose, one strand will actually hydrogen bond which is a form of weak bonding to other strands forming sort of like tubes and bundles called microfibrels. Cellulose itself is responsible for providing the strength and sort of structure of plant leaves. It forms this criss crossing fabric or this weave inside of the cell wall and it really gives that strength and rigidity that we come to associate with plants. Without it plants wouldn't be able to stand up. Their leaves wouldn't be able to maintain shape and all those sorts of things. It sort of serves as, it's like a rebar reinforcement in concrete. That's what it does, but in plants. It can also be used in all sorts of things. It used to make explosives, it's used to make paper. Actually ninety percent of raw cotton is cellulose which gives it that nice strength. So that essentially is a discussion of the function of cellulose.

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