What Is Cellulose Monomer? 

Ekansh Agarwal

Updated on:

Almost everyone knows that everything is made up of a small unit called a monomer. Cellulose monomer is also one of them. What is it? Below, we will discuss it in detail. As far as cellulose is concerned, it is a polymer, a complex carbohydrate, or polysaccharide, consisting of 3,000 or more units of monomer. Why does dry wood burn easily? It is because cellulose is the basic structural component of plant cell walls. Cellulose comprises about 33% of all vegetable matter and is the most abundant of all naturally occurring organic compounds. Cellulose is one of the useful compounds for humans as well as plants. Without taking much time, let me tell you about the cellulose monomer

What Is Cellulose Monomer? 

The cellulose monomer is Glucose, the same monomer found in regular sugar. Because cellulose is built out of a sugar monomer or glucose, it is called a polysaccharide. Cellulose monomer definition is as a simple sugar that is a significant energy source in a living organism and is a component of many carbohydrates.  The monomer of cellulose is similar to the glucose that your body uses in order to live, but you can not digest it in the form of cellulose. 

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Is Cellulose a monomer or polymer? Very simple, it is a polymer because it has a monomer called Glucose. The cellulose monomer unit is used by plants as well as animals for energy and to build structural parts of plants and bodies. But, the problem is that we can’t digest glucose. Fortunately, plants twist it all around and form a big globby polymer called starch. So, you can easily digest starch. Cellulose in plants helps plants to remain stiff and upright, it is present in the walls of plants.   

Now, you know what monomer is found in starch and cellulose as well as you have cleared a doubt regarding whether is cellulose a polymer of monomer

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Properties Of Cellulose Monomer 

The properties of cellulose monomer are, 

  • Cellulose monomer can be solid or liquid. 
  • The melting point of cellulose monomer is 294.8 degrees F or 146 degrees Celsius. 
  • Cellulose monomer has a sweet taste. 
  •  It is water soluble and also acetic in nature. 
  • It has no odor or smell. 
  • All the forms of cellulose monomer are colorless and is also clear in appearance. 

Let’s know about cellulose structure and function

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Cellulose Structure And Function 

After knowing the cellulose structure and functions will get a clear idea about cellulose. Let’s know about it. 

Cellulose Structure 

While talking about the cellulose structure, is made up of thousands of D-glucose subunits or monomers. The glucose monomers in cellulose are linked via beta 1-4 glycosidic bonds. Unlike the other polysaccharides, the orientation of glucose molecules in cellulose is reversed. Cellulose’s monomer has a beta direction in which the hydroxyl group of carbon number one is directed above the plane of the glucose ring. However, the hydroxyl group of remaining carbon atoms is directed below the plane of the ring. 

A cellulose formula is (C6H10O5)n. The small ‘n’ represents thousands of such monomers. Therefore, cellulose is called a polymer. Cellulose is an unbranched polymer or a linear polymer. It is because the cellulose monomer makes the linear patterns, simply there is no coiling like starch or glycogen. Let’s know some functions of cellulose, 

Cellulose Functions  

In plants, the cellulose monomer used to provide rigidity and shape to the cell wall. In plants, cellulose is implanted within a matrix along with pectin and lignin. Both pectin and lignin fill in any of the empty spaces found between rows of cellulose to help increase the strength of the cell wall. Other than maintaining the overall shape of the plant cell, cellulose likewise contributes to the capacity for plant cells to withstand turgor pressure.

Also, it serves as a source of energy for various species of microbes. Some types of bacteria secrete cellulose to produce biofilms, so it provides an attachment surface for the microorganism and allows them to organize into colonies. A human can not digest cellulose but it is the main source of insoluble dietary fiber, which affects nutrient absorption and aids defecation. 

Facts About Cellulose 

Here are some facts about cellulose, 

  • Cellulose is a linear, polysaccharide polymer made up of thousands of units of glucose and it makes up about 30% of the plant cell walls.
  •  It is a crystalline solid having a white powdery appearance. 
  • Cellulose has high tensile strength due to firm hydrogen bonds between the individual chains in cellulose microfibrils.  
  • The tensile strength of cellulose is comparable to that of steel. 

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Is Cellulose Monomer Or Polymer?

Cellulose is a linear polymer glucan and is composed of glucose units (> 10 000), which are linked by β-(1–4)-glycosidic bonds.

What Is Cellulose Made Of?

What is cellulose? Cellulose is made up of a series of sugar molecules linked together in a long chain. Since it is a fiber that makes up plant cell walls, it’s found in all plant foods.

How Many Monomers Are In Cellulose?

Glycosidic bond cleavage produces short cellulose chains of two-to-seven monomers comprising the melt.

What Polymer Is Cellulose Made Of?

Product made from polymers are all around us: clothing made from synthetic fibers, polyethylene cups, fiberglass, nylon bearings, plastic bags, polymer-based paints, epoxy glue, polyurethane foam cushion, silicone heart valves, and Teflon-coated cookware.

Is Cellulose A Monomer Of Starch?

Starch and cellulose are made from the same monomer i.e. glucose hence they are very similar polymers. As their monomer is the same so they also have the same glucose-based repeat units. Cellulose is comparatively much stronger than starch.

What Are The Characteristics Of Cellulose?


  • Cellulose is the most abundant carbohydrate present in nature.
  • It is insoluble in water.
  • Cellulose is a crystalline solid having a white powdery appearance.
  • It has high tensile strength due to firm hydrogen bonds between the individual chains in cellulose microfibrils.

Is C6h12o6 A Monomer Or Polymer?

Is C6H12O6 (glucose) a monomer, or a polymer? Monomer d. To summarize, when two monomers are joined, a molecule of water is always removed.


While reading this article, you come to know about what is the monomer of cellulose. The cellulose examples are Brussels sprouts, leafy, green vegetables, and green peas. Cellulose synthesis does not occur in animals. It is restricted to only plants or bacteria. The biosynthesis of cellulose in two organisms follows different steps. The synthesis process of the cellulose chain starts on the cytoplasmic end of the rosette terminal complexes. Now, you have learned all about the cellulose monomer. 


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