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Alpha and Beta linkages are found in disaccharides and polysaccharides.

These glycosidic
linkages are the bonds between two simple sugars within a disaccharide or polysaccharide. Alpha
linkages are easily digested by the human body.

Cellulose acetate
Cellulose acetate, synthetic compound derived from the acetylation of the plant Read More:
substance cellulose. Cellulose acetate is spun into textile fibres known variously as acetate rayon,
acetate, or triacetate. It can also be molded into solid plastic parts such as tool handles or cast
into film for photography or food wrapping, though its use in these applications has diminished.
Cellulose is a naturally occurring polymer obtained from wood fibres or the short fibres (linters)
adhering to cotton seeds. It is made up of repeating glucose units that have the chemical formula
C H O (OH) and the following molecular structure:

In unaltered cellulose, the X in the molecular structure represents hydrogen (H), indicating the
presence in the molecule of three hydroxyl (OH) groups. The OH groups form strong hydrogen
bonds between cellulose molecules, with the result that cellulose structures cannot be loosened
by heat or solvents without causing chemical decomposition. However, upon acetylation, the
hydrogen in the hydroxyl groups is replaced by acetyl groups (CH3-CO). The resultant cellulose
acetate compound can be dissolved in certain solvents or softened or melted under heat, allowing
the material to be spun into fibres, molded into solid objects, or cast as a film.
Cellulose acetate is most commonly prepared by treating cellulose with acetic acid and then with
acetic anhydride in the presence of a catalyst such as sulfuric acid. When the resultant reactions
are allowed to proceed to completion, the product is a fully acetylated compound known as
primary cellulose acetate, or, more properly, cellulose triacetate. Triacetate is a high-melting (300
C [570 F]), highly crystalline substance that is soluble only in a limited range of solvents
(usually methylene chloride). From solution, triacetate can be dry-spun into fibres or, with the
aid of plasticizers, cast as a film. If the primary acetate is treated with water, a hydrolization
reaction can occur in which the acetylation reaction is partially reversed, producing a secondary
cellulose acetate, or cellulose diacetate. Diacetate can be dissolved by cheaper solvents such as
acetone for dry-spinning into fibres. With a lower melting temperature (230 C [445 F]) than
triacetate, diacetate in flake form can be mixed with appropriate plasticizers into powders for
molding solid objects, and it can also be cast as a film.
Cellulose acetate was developed in the late 19th century as part of an effort to design industrially
produced fibres based on cellulose. Treatment of cellulose with nitric acid had produced
cellulose nitrate (also known as nitrocellulose), but the difficulties of working with this highly
flammable compound encouraged research in other areas. In 1865 Paul Schtzenberger and
Laurent Naudin of the Collge de France in Paris discovered the acetylation of cellulose by
acetic anhydride, and in 1894 Charles F. Cross and Edward J. Bevan, working in England,

patented a process for preparing chloroform-soluble cellulose triacetate. An important

commercial contribution was made by British chemist George Miles in 190305 with the
discovery that, when the fully acetylated cellulose was subjected to hydrolysis, it transformed
into a less highly acetylated compound (cellulose diacetate) that was soluble in cheap organic
solvents such as acetone.
The full exploitation on a commercial scale of the acetone-soluble material was accomplished by
two Swiss brothers, Henri and Camille Dreyfus, who during World War I built a factory in
England for the production of cellulose diacetate to be used as a nonflammable dope for the
coating of fabric airplane wings. After the war, faced with no further demand for acetate dope,
the Dreyfus brothers turned to the production of diacetate fibres, and in 1921 their company,
British Celanese Ltd., began commercial manufacture of the product, trademarked as Celanese.
In 1929 E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company (now DuPont Company) began production of
acetate fibre in the United States. Acetate fabrics found wide favour for their softness and
graceful drape. The material does not wrinkle easily when worn and, because of its low moisture
absorption when properly treated, does not easily retain certain types of stains. Acetate garments
launder well, retaining their original size and shape and drying in a short time, though they have
a tendency to retain creases imparted when wet. The fibre has been used, alone or in blends, in
apparel such as dresses, sportswear, underwear, shirts, and ties and also in carpets and other
home furnishings.