What is Hydroxyethyl Cellulose Used for

Bisley InternationalFAQs

Hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC) is a water-soluble polymer. It has a white appearance and a free-flowing granular powder feel. HEC is made from the reaction of alkali cellulose and ethylene oxide.

The derivative of cellulose exhibits both organic solubility and water solubility. HEC’s granular powder easily dissolves in hot and cold water to create transparent solutions with different viscosities depending on the temperature, concentration, and type.

Industrial Application of Hydroxyethyl Cellulose


HEC is commonly used in the building sector in cement, lime, gypsum, and mortar systems. It is used as a water-retaining agent and a retarder. It is used in the treatment of siding surfaces since it helps prepare latex to relieve pressure on the wall. This helps to improve the effect of surface coating and painting.

HECenhances the performance of gypsum mortar by improving the application time. Regarding torsional strength, dimensional stability, and compressive strength, HEC has the best effect compared to other polymers derived from celluloses.

Latex Polymerization

With a specific mortar substitution level,HEC. It plays a significant effect in protecting and catalyzing colloidal polymerization. It also plays a critical role in stabilizing performance, mechanical shearing resistance, and high-temperature resistance of latex.

In latex polymerization reaction, hydroxyethyl cellulose can safeguard the colloid concentration within a critical range. It also helps control the size of polymer particles and the degree of reactive groups.

Detergents and Cosmetics

HEC is an excellent binder, thickener, stabilizer, dispersant, and film-forming agent in shampoos, neutralizers, hair sprays, cosmetics, and hair conditioners. Its protective colloid and thickening properties can be effective in solid and liquid detergent industries.

The compound dissolves faster at high temperatures, thus improving production efficiency and enhancing production. Detergents with HEC can enhance the mercerization and smoothness of fabrics.


HEC can help to suspend poison in liquid sprays. It plays a significant role in removing toxins on leaves when used in spraying operations. It can also be used as a thickening agent to enhance the impact of foliar spraying and reduce drug drift in spray emulsions. HEC can be used as a film-forming agent for the recycling of tobacco leaves.

Petroleum Mining

HEC has properties in filling and processing mud. It helps provide low solid mud and can reduce the wellbore damage to a lesser extent. When mud thickens with HEC, it easily degrades into hydrocarbon oxidants or enzymes. In fracturing mud, HEC can carry sand and mud.

HEC can help formulate drilling fluid, providing more permeability and drilling stability. Its water retention properties can help drill hard rock formations. In filling cement operations, HEC can reduce the friction of pore pressure, thus reducing the structural damage caused by water loss.

Order Quality Hydroxyethyl Cellulose Today

At Bisley International, we supply quality cellulose ethers, including PAC, HEMC, and CMC, for varying industrial applications. Reach out to us to learn more and make an order today.

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