Hydroxyethyl Cellulose

Basic Info:

  • Chemical Synonym(s): 2,2'-Disulfanediyldiethanol;
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  • CAS Number: 9004-62-0
  • Chemical Formula:


  • MSDS: Download


0.75 g/mL at 25ºC(lit.)
Melting Point
288-290ºC (dec.)
Storage temp.
H2O: ≤5 wt. % at 20 °C
Light brown powder
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Hydroxyethyl Cellulose is a white or light yellow, odorless, non-toxic, fibrous, or powdered solid, a non-ionic soluble cellulose ether.

It has good properties of thickening, suspension, dispersion, emulsification, adhesion, film formation, water protection, and providing protective colloid, so it is widely used in oil extraction, coatings, construction, pharmaceuticals, and food, textiles, paper, and polymerization reactions of polymers.

They are supplied as white, free-flowing granular powders that are readily soluble in cold and hot water and provide clear solutions of varying viscosity depending on polymer concentration, type, and temperature.


Hydroxyethyl Cellulose is a cellulose-derived gelling agent and thickener widely used as an aqueous binder and thickener in many industrial applications, i.e., personal care products, pharmaceutical preparations, construction materials, adhesives, etc., and as a stabilizer for liquid soaps.

It is widely used in cosmetics, cleaning fluids, and other household products.

It is often used with methylcellulose in capsule formulations with hydrophobic drugs to improve the dissolution of the drug in gastrointestinal fluids.

It is also widely used in the oil and gas industry to drill mud under the HEC name. It also has paints, ceramics, adhesives, emulsion polymerization, inks, and joint fillers.

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