Cellulose vs. Chitin

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Cellulose and Chitin is that the Cellulose is a chemical compound and Chitin is a long-chain polymer of a N-acetylglucosamine

  • Cellulose

    Cellulose is an organic compound with the formula (C6H10O5)n, a polysaccharide consisting of a linear chain of several hundred to many thousands of β(1→4) linked D-glucose units. Cellulose is an important structural component of the primary cell wall of green plants, many forms of algae and the oomycetes. Some species of bacteria secrete it to form biofilms. Cellulose is the most abundant organic polymer on Earth. The cellulose content of cotton fiber is 90%, that of wood is 40–50%, and that of dried hemp is approximately 57%.Cellulose is mainly used to produce paperboard and paper. Smaller quantities are converted into a wide variety of derivative products such as cellophane and rayon. Conversion of cellulose from energy crops into biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol is under development as a renewable fuel source. Cellulose for industrial use is mainly obtained from wood pulp and cotton.Some animals, particularly ruminants and termites, can digest cellulose with the help of symbiotic micro-organisms that live in their guts, such as Trichonympha. In human nutrition, cellulose is a non-digestible constituent of insoluble dietary fiber, acting as a hydrophilic bulking agent for feces and potentially aiding in defecation.

  • Chitin

    Chitin (C8H13O5N)n ( KY-tin), a long-chain polymer of N-acetylglucosamine, is a derivative of glucose. It is a primary component of cell walls in fungi, the exoskeletons of arthropods, such as crustaceans and insects, the radulae of molluscs, cephalopod beaks, and the scales of fish and lissamphibians. The structure of chitin is comparable to another polysaccharide – cellulose, forming crystalline nanofibrils or whiskers. In terms of function, it may be compared to the protein keratin. Chitin has proved useful for several medicinal, industrial and biotechnological purposes.

  • Cellulose (noun)

    A complex carbohydrate that forms the main constituent of the cell wall in most plants and is important in the manufacture of numerous products, such as paper, textiles, pharmaceuticals, and explosives.

  • Cellulose (noun)

    A polysaccharide containing many glucose units in parallel chains.

  • Cellulose (adjective)

    Consisting of, or containing, cells.

  • Chitin (noun)

    A complex polysaccharide, a polymer of N-acetylglucosamine, found in the exoskeletons of arthropods and in the cell walls of fungi; thought to be responsible for some forms of asthma in humans.

  • Chitin (noun)

    a fibrous substance consisting of polysaccharides, which is the major constituent in the exoskeleton of arthropods and the cell walls of fungi.

Oxford Dictionary

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