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Today just now while I was filling rice into a polythene bag. I noticed that some grains inside the polythene bag were sticking to the sides of the bag. I tried to replicate this on the outside of the bag and got positive results.

I am now searching for a reason as to why this is happening. My guess is that static electricity is involved. However that raises the question how does filling rice in a plastic bag result buildup of charges on the rice grains and polythene.

TL;DR

what factors can cause rice grains to stick to polythene bags and how ?

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  • $\begingroup$ The rice particles can get charged as they rub against the plastic bag and other rice particles. Rice and the plastic bag are not good conductors; therefore, it is probably due to electrostatic attraction. $\endgroup$ – Yashas Mar 26 '17 at 5:09
  • $\begingroup$ look up triboelectricity en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triboelectric_effect $\endgroup$ – anna v Mar 26 '17 at 5:57
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Some kind of static electricity, I suppose.

The polythene bag may be charged (for example, if it had been rubbed on anything or it has come in contact with another charged object) due to which there is either a deficit or excess of electrons. The charged bag induces a charge in the rice grains and attracts them.

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  • $\begingroup$ This may be an electrostatic effect, but milled rice is about 90% starch, and starch is an adhesive. But to complete the loop, some of its adhesive properties are because it is a polar molecule, i.e. because of electrostatics! $\endgroup$ – alephzero Mar 26 '17 at 6:48

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