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Hydroxyethylmethylcellulose is a nonionic polymer that is white or off-white powder. It is soluble in cold water but insoluble in hot water. The solution exhibits strong pseudo-plasticity and provides high shear viscosity. HEMC is mainly used as adhesives, protective colloids, thickeners and stabilizers, and emulsifying additives.Hydroxyethylmethylcellulose is used in coatings and building materials with good performance.

Synonyms: Hydroxyethylmethylcellulose

Molecular formula: C5H10O4

CAS No: C2H6O2·xCH4O



1. Latex paint

Hydroxyethyl cellulose is the most commonly used thickener in latex coatings.In addition to thickening latex coatings, it can also play a role in emulsifying, dispersing, stabilizing and retaining water. It is characterized by a significant thickening effect, good color development, film formation and storage stability. Hydroxyethyl cellulose is a nonionic cellulose derivative and can be used in a wide pH range. It has good compatibility with other materials (such as pigments, additives, fillers and salts) in the components. Coatings thickened with hydroxyethyl cellulose have good rheology and pseudo-plasticity at various shear rates. Construction methods such as brushing, rolling, spraying, etc. can be used.It has good construction properties, is not easy to drip, hang and splash, and has good leveling properties.

2. Polymer polymerization

Hydroxyethyl cellulose has dispersion, emulsification, suspension and stabilization effects in the polymerization or copolymer components of synthetic resins, and can be used as a protective colloid.It is characterized by strong dispersion ability, the particle “film” of the resulting product is thin, the particle size is fine, the particle shape is uniform, it is loose, the fluidity is good, the product has high transparency and is easy to process. Since hydroxyethyl cellulose can be dissolved in cold and hot water, and there is no gelation temperature point, it is more suitable for various polymerization reactions. The important physical properties of the dispersant to investigate whether it is good or bad include the surface (or interfacial) tension, interfacial strength and gelation temperature of its aqueous solution. These properties of hydroxyethyl cellulose are suitable for polymerization or copolymer of synthetic resins.

Hydroxyethyl cellulose has good compatibility with other water-soluble cellulose ethers and PVA. The composite system thus formed can obtain a comprehensive effect of learning from each other's strengths. The resin products made after compounding are not only of good quality, but also have reduced material loss.

3. Oil drilling

In terms of oil drilling and production, high-viscosity hydroxyethyl cellulose is mainly used as a viscosity enhancer for completion fluid and finishing fluid.Low-viscosity hydroxyethyl cellulose is used as a water loss reducing agent. In the various mud required for drilling, completion, cementing and fracturing operations, hydroxyethyl cellulose is used as a thickener to obtain good fluidity and stability of the mud. During drilling, the ability of mud to carry sand can be improved and the service life of the drill bit can be extended. In the low-solid phase completion fluid and cementing fluid, the excellent water loss-reducing properties of hydroxyethyl cellulose can prevent a large amount of water from entering the oil layer from the mud, which can improve the production capacity of the oil layer.

4. Daily chemicals

Hydroxyethyl cellulose is an effective film-forming agent, binder, thickener, stabilizer and dispersant in shampoos, hair sprays, neutralizers, hair care agents and cosmetics; it is a dirt re-deposition agent in washing powders. Hydroxyethyl cellulose dissolves quickly at high temperatures, which can speed up the production process and improve production efficiency. The obvious feature of detergents containing hydroxyethyl cellulose is that they can improve the smoothness and mercerization of fabrics.

5. Buildings

Hydroxyethyl cellulose can be used in construction products such as concrete mixes, newly mixed mortars, gypsum stucco or other cement, etc., and plays a role in water retention during the construction process before they condense and harden. In addition to improving the water retention of construction products, hydroxyethyl cellulose can also extend the life and opening time of stucco or cement. Can reduce the phenomenon of skinning, slippage and sagging.This can improve construction performance, improve work efficiency, and save time. At the same time, the capacity increase rate of stucco can be improved, thereby saving raw materials.

6. Agriculture

Hydroxyethyl cellulose is used in the formulation of pesticide emulsions and suspensions as a thickener for spray emulsions or suspensions. It can reduce the flow of agents and make them firmly attached to the foliage of the plant, thereby increasing the effect of foliar spraying. Hydroxyethyl cellulose can also be used as a film-forming agent in seed coat coating agent; as an adhesive and film-forming agent in the recycling of tobacco leaves.

7. PAPER and ink

Hydroxyethyl cellulose can be used as a gluing agent on paper and cardboard, as well as a thickening and suspending agent for water-based inks.In the papermaking process, the superior properties of hydroxyethyl cellulose include compatibility with most gums, resins and inorganic salts, low foam, low oxygen consumption, and the formation of a smooth surface film. The film has low surface permeability and strong gloss, and can also reduce costs. Paper glued with hydroxyethyl cellulose can be used for printing high-quality pictures.In the manufacture of water-based inks, water-based inks thickened with hydroxyethyl cellulose dry quickly, have good color diffusion, and do not produce adhesion.

8. Fabric

It can be used as an adhesive and glazing agent in fabric printing and dyeing pastes and latex coatings; a thickener for glazing materials on the back of carpets.In glass fiber, it is used as a molding agent and adhesive; in leather slurry, it can be used as a modifier and adhesive.Provide a wide viscosity range for these coatings or adhesives, make the coatings stick more evenly and quickly, and improve the clarity of printing and dyeing.

9. Ceramics

It can be used to formulate high-strength adhesives for ceramics.

10. Toothpaste

It can be used as a thickener in the manufacture of toothpaste.


Appearancewhite or similar to white powder
Moisture ( % )Max. 6.0
Ash content ( % )Max. 5.0
PH- value5.0 ~ 9.0
Bulk density0.30 ~ 0.50g/cm³
Particle Sizemin.90% pass through 100 mesh

1*: Brookfield viscometer, 25℃, 1% content in water;

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