Main Characteristic Of Hydroxyethyl Methylcellulose

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What is hydroxyethyl methylcellulose (HEMC)?

Hydroxyethyl methyl cellulose (HEMC) is also named as methyl hydroxyethyl cellulose (MHEC). It is a white, grayish-white, or yellowish-white granules.


It is a non-ionic cellulose ether derived from the addition of ethylene oxide to methylcellulose. It is produced from a natural renewable polymer such as wood pulp or cotton.


HEMC can be used as a highly efficient water retention agent, adhesives and film-forming agent, stabilizer, etc.


It is widely used in different industrial applications such as oil drilling, construction, and building, paint and coating, pharmaceutical, etc.


HEMC can be modified according to customers’ requirement and still have its good anti-sagging property and good workability after modification.


Looking to get HEMC for industrial use? Contact a reliable hydroxyethyl methylcellulose supplier for the best deals.

 Hydroxyethyl Methylcellulose

Characteristics of HEMC

HEMC has various features. They include:


1. Appearance

HEMC can be either white, pale yellow or yellowish-white, or grayish-white. It is also odorless.


2. Solubility

HEMC is soluble in water (cold or hot water). Although HEMC is insoluble in the most organic solvent but soluble in a binary organic solvent and organic solvent water system.


Its highest concentration depends on the viscosity and its solubility varies with viscosity. The lower the viscosity, the greater the solubility and vice versa.


3. PH stability

HEMC is stable within the range of 3.0 – 11.0 and its viscosity is hardly affected but a PH value out of this range will decrease its viscosity.


4. Metabolism

HEMC is an inert substance and its odorless. It is widely used in food and medicine applications due to its inability to undergo metabolism.


5. Surface Activity

It can be used as a dispersant, protective agent, and emulsifier due to its surface-active function in an aqueous solution.


6. Mildew Resistance

In the long term storage, HEMC is a good mildew resistance due to its good viscosity stability.


Its mildew resistance capacity is higher than the hydroxyethyl cellulose.


7. Water Retention

HEMC serves as an effective water retention agent due to its high viscosity in aqueous solution.


Its water retention capacity is greater than the methylcellulose.


8. Ash Content

Hot water washing is used in the preparation process of HEMC, thereby making the ash content very low.


9. Thermal Gel

When the HEMC solution is being heated to a certain temperature, it becomes less transparent with the formation of precipitate and gel but if cooled, it goes back to its original state of solution.


Common Uses of HEMC

Hydroxyethyl methylcellulose can be used as:

Ø Adhesive

Ø Protective colloid

Ø Thickening agent

Ø Film-forming agent

Ø Emulsifier

Ø Lubricant

Ø Suspending agent


Industrial Applications of HEMC

HEMC is widely used in different industries, which are:

· Polymerization

· Ceramic

· Cosmetics

· Construction

· Food and Beverages

· Pharmaceuticals

· Paint and Coatings

· Ink and Oil Drilling



Hydroxyethyl methyl cellulose (HEMC) as said earlier is a derivative of methylcellulose. It is a non-ionic cellulose ether produced from the raw material of high purity cotton.


Its odorless characteristics and inability to metabolize makes it widely used in food and medicine applications.


HEMC water retaining capacity and thickening ability makes it suitable for water-based latex painting, ink and oil drilling, construction materials, etc.


As it is widely used in diverse applications, getting HEMC from a reputable hydroxyethyl methylcellulose supplier assures you of the best product for personal or industrial use. 


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