Bacterial cellulose production and applications

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Nantharat Phruksaphithak
Chalermkiet Kaewnun
Sompong O-Thong


Cellulose is a polysaccharide or a carbohydrate polymer which is found in many tropical plants. Cellulose is not only a main structural material of plants, but it is also able to be produced by bacteria. Bacterial cellulose is a biomaterial which is produced from bacteria with high purity (free of lignin and hemicellulose), high crystallinity, high tensile strength, high biocompatibility, and a high degree of polymerization and nanostructure. It is used in the medical, cosmetics, paper, food, and textile industries. In general, biosynthesis of bacterial cellulose requires a carbon source, such as a monosaccharide (glucose and fructose), a disaccharide (sucrose and maltose) or alcohol (ethanol, glycerol and mannitol), for the fermentation process to secrete an extracellular insoluble film. However, they are expensive and of low yield, which affect the cost of productivity. Attempts to find new carbon sources for bacterial cellulose production from alternative materials include effluent from food processing, liquor, molasses, juice, wheat straw and fruit pulp, etc. New carbon sources may lead to an increase in productivity and a reduction in economic cost. Moreover, using waste as a carbon source not only improves the yield of bacteria cellulose, but also reduces the environmental pollution associated with industrial waste disposal.


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