Properties of Hydroxyethyl Cellulose

Properties of Hydroxyethyl Cellulose

Properties of Hydroxyethyl Cellulose

Hydroxyethyl cellulose, referred to as HEC, is a white or light yellow fibrous solid or powdery solid, non-toxic and tasteless, and belongs to non-ionic cellulose ether. Hydroxyethyl cellulose is easily soluble in water, both in cold water and hot water. The aqueous solution has no gel properties, has good cohesiveness and heat resistance, and is insoluble in general organic solvents. Hydroxyethyl cellulose is an important water-soluble cellulose ether second only to carboxymethyl cellulose and hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose in production and sales in the global market.


As a non-ionic surfactant, hydroxyethyl cellulose has the following properties in addition to thickening, suspending, binding, floating, film-forming, dispersing, water retention and providing protective colloid:

1. HEO is soluble in hot water or cold water, and does not precipitate at high temperature or boiling, so that it has a wide range of solubility and viscosity characteristics, and non-thermal gelation;

2. It is non-ionic and can coexist with a wide range of other water-soluble polymers, surfactants, and salts. It is an excellent colloidal thickener for high-concentration electrolyte solutions;

3. The water retention capacity is twice as high as that of methyl cellulose, and it has better flow regulation.

4. Compared with the recognized methyl cellulose and hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose, the dispersing ability of HEC is poor, but the protective colloid ability is strong.

Solutions and Preparation Methods

1. Add a specified amount of clean water to the container;

2. Add hydroxyethyl cellulose under low-speed stirring, stir until all the hydroxyethyl cellulose, and stir until all materials are completely soaked;

3. Stir until all the hydroxyethyl cellulose is completely dissolved, then add other components of the formula and stir well.


Hydroxyethyl cellulose is generally used as a thickener, protective agent, binder, stabilizer and additive for the preparation of emulsions, jellies, ointments, lotions, eye cleaners, suppositories and tablets, and is also used as a hydrophilic gel Glue, skeleton material, preparation of skeleton-type sustained-release preparations, and it can also be used as a stabilizer in food.

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