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Nanocellulose from blue-green algae

Nanocellulose from blue-green algae
Researchers have reported on producing nanocellulose using the algae.
Cellulose is an organic compound mainly a polysaccharide consisting of a linear chain of several hundred to over ten thousand β (1→4) linked D-glucose units and is an important structural component of the primary cell wall of green plants, many forms of algae oomycetes and secreted by some species of bacteria as bio films. Cellulose is the most abundant organic polymer on Earth, a material, like plastics, consisting of molecules linked together into long chains. Cellulose makes up tree trunks and branches, corn stalks and cotton fibers, the main component of paper and cardboard and the indigestible material in fruits and vegetables. For example the cellulose content of cotton fiber is 90%, that of wood is 40–50% and that of dried hemp is approximately 45%. Few living organisms can synthesize and secrete cellulose in its native nanostructure form of micro fibrils.
Nano cellulose
Nanocellulose, or micro fibrillated cellulose (MFC) consists of nanosized cellulose fibrils having a high aspect ratio with typical lateral dimensions of 5–20 nanometers and longitudinal dimension is in a wide range from 10s of nanometers to several microns.
Nanocellulose can also be obtained from native fibers by an acid hydrolysis, giving rise to highly crystalline and rigid nanoparticles called nanowhiskers. It is very hydrophilic, pseudo-plastic in nature exhibiting the property of gels or fluids that are viscous under normal conditions, but become less viscous over time when agitated or stressed.
Using vinegar-making bacteria, a sort of moist skin, swollen, gelatinous and slippery material known as bacterial nanocellulose has been made. Nanocellulose made by bacteria has advantages, including ease of production and high purity
Making nano cellulose
Earlier researchers sequenced the first nanocellulose genes from A. xylinum. They observed the genes involved in polymerizing nanocellulose and in crystallizing. Recently researchers of University of Texas at Austin reported that several kinds of blue - green algae, which are mainly photosynthetic bacteria or cyanobacteria, can produce nanocellulose. One of the largest problems with cyanobacterial nanocellulose is that it is not made in abundant amounts in nature, but it could be scaled up.
Cyanobacteria make their own nutrients from sunlight and water, and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing nanocellulose. Cyanobacteria also have the potential to release nanocellulose into their surroundings. Researchers have genetically engineered the cyanobacteria to produce one form of nanocellulose, the long-chain, or polymer, form of the material and synthesize a more complete form of nanocellulose, one that is a polymer with a crystalline architecture.
Researchers believe that major barriers to commercializing nanocellulose fuels involve issues not connected with science. It can become the raw material for sustainable production of bio fuels and many other products.

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