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Ethyl cellulose

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Ethyl cellulose Basic information
Ethyl cellulose Chemical Properties
  • Melting point:240-255 °C
  • Density 1.14 g/mL at 25 °C(lit.)
  • refractive index n20/D 1.47(lit.)
  • storage temp. room temp
  • solubility esters, aromatic hydrocarbons, alcohols and ketones: soluble
  • form powder
  • color White to slightly yellow
  • Specific Gravity1.14
  • Water Solubility insoluble
  • Merck 14,3781
  • EPA Substance Registry SystemEthyl cellulose (9004-57-3)
Safety Information
MSDS
Ethyl cellulose Usage And Synthesis
  • Chemical Propertieswhite to slightly yellowish powder
  • Chemical PropertiesEthylcellulose is a tasteless, free-flowing, white to light tan-colored powder.
  • Usesethyl cellulose is a binder, film former, and thickener. It is used in suntan gels, creams, and lotions. This is the ethyl ether of cellulose.
  • UsesFilm-former in coatings, hot-melt adhesives and transfer inks and as a plastic coating for a variety of substrates.
  • UsesIn the manufacture of plastics and lacquers. Pharmaceutic aid (tablet binder).
  • UsesUsed as a binder and filler in dry vitamin preparations, as a component of protective coatings for vitamin and mineral tablets, and as a fixative in flavoring compounds. It is a cellulose ether containing ethyoxy groups attached by an ether linkage and containing an anhydrous basis of not more than 2.6 ethoxy groups per anhydroglucose unit.
  • Production MethodsEthylcellulose is prepared by treating purified cellulose (sourced from chemical-grade cotton linters and wood pulp) with an alkaline solution, followed by ethylation of the alkali cellulose with chloroethane as shown below, where R represents the cellulose radical:
    RONa + C2H5Cl→ROC2H5+NaCl
    The manner in which the ethyl group is added to cellulose can be described by the degree of substitution (DS). The DS designates the average number of hydroxyl positions on the anhydroglucose unit that have been reacted with ethyl chloride. Since each anhydroglucose unit of the cellulose molecule has three hydroxyl groups, the maximum value for DS is three.
  • PreparationEthyl cellulose is prepared by reacting cellulose with caustic to form caustic cellulose, which is then reacted with chloroethane to form ethyl cellulose. Plasticgrade material contains 44-48% ethoxyl.
    Although not as resistant as cellulose esters to acids, it is much more resistant to bases. An outstanding feature is its toughness at low temperatures.
  • brand nameAquacoat ECD (FMC);Ethocel (Dow Chemical).
  • Pharmaceutical ApplicationsEthylcellulose is widely used in oral and topical pharmaceutical formulations.
    The main use of ethylcellulose in oral formulations is as a hydrophobic coating agent for tablets and granules.Ethylcellulose coatings are used to modify the release of a drug, to mask an unpleasant taste, or to improve the stability of a formulation; for example, where granules are coated with ethylcellulose to inhibit oxidation. Modified-release tablet formulations may also be produced using ethylcellulose as a matrix former.
    Ethylcellulose, dissolved in an organic solvent or solvent mixture, can be used on its own to produce water-insoluble films. Higher-viscosity ethylcellulose grades tend to produce stronger and more durable films. Ethylcellulose films may be modified to alter their solubility, by the addition of hypromellose or a plasticizer. An aqueous polymer dispersion (or latex) of ethylcellulose such as Aquacoat ECD (FMC Biopolymer) or Surelease (Colorcon) may also be used to produce ethylcellulose films without the need for organic solvents. Drug release through ethylcellulose-coated dosage forms can be controlled by diffusion through the film coating. This can be a slow process unless a large surface area (e.g. pellets or granules compared with tablets) is utilized. In those instances, aqueous ethylcellulose dispersions are generally used to coat granules or pellets. Ethylcellulose-coated beads and granules have also demonstrated the ability to absorb pressure and hence protect the coating from fracture during compression.
    High-viscosity grades of ethylcellulose are used in drug microencapsulation.
    Release of a drug from an ethylcellulose microcapsule is a function of the microcapsule wall thickness and surface area.
    In tablet formulations, ethylcellulose may additionally be employed as a binder, the ethylcellulose being blended dry or wetgranulated with a solvent such as ethanol (95%). Ethylcellulose produces hard tablets with low friability, although they may demonstrate poor dissolution.
    Ethylcellulose has also been used as an agent for delivering therapeutic agents from oral (e.g. dental) appliances.
    In topical formulations, ethylcellulose is used as a thickening agent in creams, lotions, or gels, provided an appropriate solvent is used. Ethylcellulose has been studied as a stabilizer for emulsions.
    Ethylcellulose is additionally used in cosmetics and food products.
  • Safety ProfileLow toxicity by ingestion and skin contact. A skin irritant. When heated to decomposition it emits acrid smoke and irritating fumes
  • SafetyEthylcellulose is widely used in oral and topical pharmaceutical formulations. It is also used in food products. Ethylcellulose is not metabolized following oral consumption and is therefore a noncalorific substance. Because ethylcellulose is not metabolized it is not recommended for parenteral products; parenteral use may be harmful to the kidneys.
    Ethylcellulose is generally regarded as a nontoxic, nonallergenic, and nonirritating material.
    As ethylcellulose is not considered to be a health hazard, the WHO has not specified an acceptable daily intake. The highest reported level used in an oral product is 308.8 mg in an oral sustained release tablet.
    LD50 (rabbit, skin): >5 g/kg
    LD50 (rat, oral): >5 g/kg
  • storageEthylcellulose is a stable, slightly hygroscopic material. It is chemically resistant to alkalis, both dilute and concentrated, and to salt solutions, although it is more sensitive to acidic materials than are cellulose esters.
    Ethylcellulose is subject to oxidative degradation in the presence of sunlight or UV light at elevated temperatures. This may be prevented by the use of antioxidant and chemical additives that absorb light in the 230–340nm range.
    Ethylcellulose should be stored at a temperature not exceeding 32°C (90°F) in a dry area away from all sources of heat. It should not be stored next to peroxides or other oxidizing agents.
  • IncompatibilitiesIncompatible with paraffin wax and microcrystalline wax.
  • Regulatory StatusGRAS listed. Accepted for use as a food additive in Europe. Included in the FDA Inactive Ingredients Database (oral capsules, suspensions and tablets; topical emulsions and vaginal preparations). Included in nonparenteral medicines licensed in Europe. Included in the Canadian List of Acceptable Non-medicinal Ingredients.
Ethyl cellulose Preparation Products And Raw materials
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