In cellulose structure, some beta glucose are inverted. I’ve read that therefore the hydroxyl groups stick on both sides, but aren’t there hydroxyl groups on both sides anyways whether it was inverted or not and whether it was alpha and not beta? So why is this considered so special about cellulose?
Indeed, there would be hydroxyl groups in both sides independently of the orientation in space of each glucose monomer. The alternating inversion of each glucose residue reduces the steric effects between each monomer, simultaneously allowing the formation of more hydrogen bonds between each glucose. So it is a matter of molecular stability, and this is not special to cellulose, as it can be seen in other polysaccharides (e.g. chitin).