Cellulose : from Biosynthesis to Liquid Crystals

This review article, which refers to 432 published articles, covers nomenclature, sources, biosynthesis, preparation, uses, microcrystalline cellulose, structural chemistry, reactions, solvents, and liquid crystals. Cellulose for commercial purposes comes mostly from wood and cotton, whereas cellulose for research comes from bacteria, algae, and ramie (also a textile fiber). Preparation includes pulping and purification, with an alternative method of steam explosion.

The pore structure of cellulose is mentioned. Emphasis is given to cellulose crystal structures. Cellulose solutions are important to the rayon and cellophane industries, and new solvents are of interest because they may lessen pollution and might permit commercial production of stronger cellulosic materials through the formation of liquid crystals. Common physical methods for assessment of cellulose structure are discussed. Figures include the chemical and physical structures of the molecule, sources of cellulose, biosynthesis charts, molecular weight distributions, crystallite sizes, X‐ray diffraction patterns, nuclear magnetic resonance spectra, conformational energy plots, and the unit cell structures of cellulose I–IV.