Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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alpha cellulose

That part of a cellulosic material that is insoluble in a 17.5% solution of sodium hydroxide at 20° C. under specified conditions. While alpha cellulose consists principally of cellulose, it does include other components that are insoluble under the test conditions. Because the permanence of paper depends to some extent on the absence of non-cellulosic impurities, the determination of true cellulose (alpha cellulose) gives an indication of the stability of the paper, and therefore its permanence. See also: BETA CELLULOSE ;CELLULOSE ;GAMMA CELLULOSE .

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