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What is cellulose acetate?

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The acetate ester of cellulose is cellulose acetate. It was first synthesized from acetic anhydride and the cellulose found in wood pulp by Paul Schutzenberger in 1865.

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Cellulose acetate is the material of choice for making photographic film. It can be spun into thread that is used to make rayon fiber. Cellulose acetate was the first plastic to be mold injected. It is used to make eyeglass frames, buttons, playing cards, home furnishings and tool handles, It is also a component of cigarette filters. During World War II, cellulose acetate was used to make airplane canopies and eyepieces for gas masks. The original Lego toy blocks were made of cellulose acetate until 1964.

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