Differences and similarities between starch and cellulose

Jason

Cellulose and starch are both polymers composed if sugar monomers. Compare the differences between cellulose and starch. Discuss the use of cellulose as a possible souce of raw material for the production of polymers.

Starch and cellulose are very similar polymers. They are both made up so similar monomers; starch is made up on alpha glucose while cellulose is made up on beta glucose. The monomer of starch is one unit of glucose where as the monomer of cellulose is not one unit of glucose, but two units of glucose joined by a beta linkage. Cellulose is a lot stronger than starch. Starch is practically useless as a material, but cellulose is strong enough to make fibers from, and hence rope, clothing, etc. Cellulose doesn't dissolve in water the way starch will, and doesn't break down as easily. Starch can be eaten, but cellulose is not digestible by the human body. Starch is broken down into glucose to sustain the body, but the body is not equipped with the enzymes that can break down cellulose into glucose.

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Difference between starch and cellulose

Jess

Cellulose is repeating units of beta-Glucose, whilst starch is repeating units of alpha-glucose. Cellulose and starch are two very similar polymers. The monomer of starch is one unit of Glucose whereas the monomer of cellulose is not one unit of glucose, but two units of glucose joined by a beta-linkage. Both cellulose and starch are results of condensational polymerisation.
The different linkage creates a significant difference between starch and cellulose. The most important difference is the fact that Cellulose cannot be digested whilst starch is a regularly consumed source of food.
Cellulose is strong enough to make ropes, clothing and fibres, and unlike starch, it does not dissolve in water. This suggests that cellulose is much stronger than starch, and is hence a more useful material, making it a possible source of raw material for the production of polymers.

Starch

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