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Hydroxypropyl cellulose

Chemical Name:
Hydroxypropyl cellulose
HPC;hydroxypropyl;L-HPC;KLUCEL;Hyprolose;Low-Substituted Hydroxypropyl cellulose;Hydroxypropyl cellulose - Average MW 80,000;Hydroxypropyl cellulose - Average MW 370,000;Hydroxypropyl cellulose - Average MW 1,000,000;Hydroxypropyl cellulose - Average MW 50,000 - 1250,000
Molecular Formula:
Molecular Weight:
MDL Number:
MOL File:
MSDS File:
Last updated:2023-11-16 11:00:17

Hydroxypropyl cellulose Properties

Melting point 371.06 °C
Density 0.5 g/mL at 25 °C (lit.)
storage temp. Room Temperature
solubility polar oganic solvents: soluble
form powder
color White to light cream
PH Range 5.0 - 8.5
PH pH (20g/l, 25℃) : 5.0~7.5
Odor at 100.00?%. odorless
Viscosity 3.0 to 6.0 mPa-s (2 %, H2O, 20℃)
Water Solubility Soluble in polar organic solvents, in water at room temperature.Soluble in water, methyl alcohol, ethyl alcohol and other organic solvents.
Merck 14,4841
Stability Stable. Incompatible with strong oxidizing agents. Combustible.
InChI InChI=1S/CH4/h1H4
FDA 21 CFR 172.870; 73.1001
Substances Added to Food (formerly EAFUS) HYDROXYPROPYL CELLULOSE
CAS DataBase Reference 9004-64-2
EWG's Food Scores 1
EPA Substance Registry System Cellulose, 2-hydroxypropyl ether (9004-64-2)


Risk and Safety Statements

Symbol(GHS)  GHS hazard pictograms
Signal word  Warning
Hazard statements  H302-H335-H332-H319-H315
Precautionary statements  P261-P271-P304+P340-P312-P264-P280-P305+P351+P338-P337+P313P-P264-P270-P301+P312-P330-P501-P264-P280-P302+P352-P321-P332+P313-P362
Safety Statements  24/25
WGK Germany  1
RTECS  NF9050000
Autoignition Temperature 752 °F
HS Code  39129000
NFPA 704
1 0

Hydroxypropyl cellulose price More Price(59)

Manufacturer Product number Product description CAS number Packaging Price Updated Buy
Sigma-Aldrich 191884 Hydroxypropyl cellulose ≥99.0% (sum of enantiomers, GC) 9004-64-2 5g $61.3 2023-06-20 Buy
Sigma-Aldrich 1329800 Hydroxypropyl cellulose United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Reference Standard 9004-64-2 500mg $434 2022-05-15 Buy
TCI Chemical H0386 Hydroxypropyl Cellulose (150-400mPa.s, 2% in Water at 20°C) 9004-64-2 25g $35 2023-06-20 Buy
TCI Chemical H0386 Hydroxypropyl Cellulose (150-400mPa.s, 2% in Water at 20°C) 9004-64-2 500g $148 2023-06-20 Buy
Alfa Aesar 043400 Hydroxypropyl cellulose, M.W. 100,000 9004-64-2 25g $38.2 2023-06-20 Buy
Product number Packaging Price Buy
191884 5g $61.3 Buy
1329800 500mg $434 Buy
H0386 25g $35 Buy
H0386 500g $148 Buy
043400 25g $38.2 Buy

Hydroxypropyl cellulose Chemical Properties,Uses,Production


Hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC) is a derivative of cellulose being soluble in both water and organic acid. It is excellent in trapping water and preventing water loss. It can be used to treat diseases associated with insufficient tear production such as keratoconjunctivitis sicca, recurrent corneal erosions, decreased corneal sensitivity, and exposure and neuroparalytic keratitis. It is also used as a lubricant of artificial eyes. It can also be used as a thickener, an emulsion stabilizer and binder. Moreover, it can be used as a sieving matrix for DNA separation through capillary and microchip electrophoresis. It is also the major ingredient of Cellugel, which is used in book conservation.



Hydroxypropyl cellulose is a cellulose ether containing hydroxypropyl substitution. It occurs as a white powder. It is soluble in water and in certain organic solvents. It may contain a suitable anticaking agent.

Chemical Properties

White or yellowish-white powder or granules, hygroscopic after drying

Chemical Properties

Hydroxypropyl cellulose is a white to slightly yellow-colored, odorless and tasteless powder.




Hydroxypropyl Cellulose is a gum that is nonionic water-soluble cellulose, obtained from the reaction of alkali cellulose with propyl- ene oxide at high temperatures and pressures. it is soluble in water below 40°c, is precipitated as a floc between 40°c and 45°c, and is insoluble above 45°c. the precipitation is reversible with the origi- nal viscosity being restored upon cooling below 40°c and stirring. it is used in whipped toppings as a stabilizing and foaming aid; in edible food coatings as a glaze and oil/oxygen barrier; and in fabri- cated foods as a binder. typical usage level is 0.05–1.0%.


As emulsifier, stabilizer, whipping aid, protective colloid, film former or thickener in foods; as binder in ceramics and glazes; in hair and cosmetic Preparations; in vacuum-formed containers and blow-molded bottles; as suspending agent in PVC polymerization. Pharmaceutic aid (tablet coating agent).


Hydroxypropyl Cellulose is used in the synthesis of nanoparticle carriers for drug delivery.


A cellulose ether with hydroxypropyl substitution.

Production Methods

A purified form of cellulose is reacted with sodium hydroxide to produce a swollen alkali cellulose that is chemically more reactive than untreated cellulose. The alkali cellulose is then reacted with propylene oxide at elevated temperature and pressure. The propylene oxide can be substituted on the cellulose through an ether linkage at the three reactive hydroxyls present on each anhydroglucose monomer unit of the cellulose chain. Etherification takes place in such a way that hydroxypropyl substituent groups contain almost entirely secondary hydroxyls. The secondary hydroxyl present in the side chain is available for further reaction with the propylene oxide, and ‘chaining-out’ may take place. Thisresults in the formation of side chains containing more than 1 mole of combined propylene oxide.

Manufacturing Process

The tertiary butanol, water and sodium hydroxide were mixed and the mixture cooled to 20°C. The purified cotton linters were added to the mixture and aged at 20°C for one hour while stirring. Excess liquid was filtered off the resulting alkali cellulose so that the resulting alkali cellulose filter cake weighed 3.08 parts. This filter cake was broken up and slurried in the hexane, placed in a pressure vessel the pressure of which was increased to 100 psig with nitrogen, and then the pressure was vented to 5 psig. The propylene oxide was added to the pressure vessel and then the pressure was increased to 25 psig with nitrogen. The resulting charge was heated to 85°C in 30 minutes and then reacted at this temperature and 25 psig pressure for six hours. The charge was cooled to 30°C. the pressure vessel vented and 0.14 part of glacial acetic acid added. The excess hexane was filtered off from the resulting hydroxypropyl cellulose product, the product was purified by washing with hot water (85°C to 95°C) and then dried at 130°C using a two-roll drum drier.

Therapeutic Function

Topical protectant, Ophthalmic vehicle

General Description

Hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC) is biocompatible in nature and exhibits low critical solution temperature (LCST). It has been reported to be prepared by reacting cellulose with alkali, producing alkali cellulose which is consecutively reacted with propylene oxide. HPC is soluble in water at lower than RT. Viscosity behaves inversely to rise in temperature.

Pharmaceutical Applications

Hydroxypropyl cellulose is widely used in oral and topical pharmaceutical formulations.
In oral products, hydroxypropyl cellulose is primarily used in tableting as a binder,film-coating,and extended-release-matrix former. Concentrations of hydroxypropyl cellulose of 2–6% w/w may be used as a binder in either wet-granulation or dry, direct compression tableting processes. Concentrations of 15–35% w/w of hydroxypropyl cellulose may be used to produce tablets with an extended drug release. The release rate of a drug increases with decreasing viscosity of hydroxypropyl cellulose. The addition of an anionic surfactant similarly increases the viscosity of hydroxypropyl cellulose and hence decreases the release rate of a drug. Blends of hydroxypropyl cellulose and other cellulosic polymers have been used to improve wet granulation characteristics and tableting characteristics, as well as to achieve better control and manipulation of the rate of drug release. As an alternative technology to wet granulation, dry granulation and direct compression of hydroxypropyl cellulose formulations have been reported to exhibit acceptable tableting and flow characteristics for application in extended-release matrix tablets. Typically, a 5% w/w solution of hydroxypropyl cellulose may be used to film-coat tablets. Aqueous solutions containing hydroxypropyl cellulose together with an amount of methyl cellulose or ethanolic solutions have been used. Stearic acid or palmitic acid may be added to ethanolic hydroxypropyl cellulose solutions as plasticizers. Environmental concerns have limited the use of ethanol in film coating solutions. A low-substituted hydroxypropyl cellulose is used as a tablet disintegrant; see Hydroxypropyl Cellulose, Low-substituted.
Hydroxypropyl cellulose is also used in microencapsulation processes and as a thickening agent. In topical formulations, hydroxypropyl cellulose is used in transdermal patches and ophthalmic preparations.
Hydroxypropyl cellulose is also used in cosmetics and in food products as an emulsifier and stabilizer.


Hydroxypropyl cellulose is widely used as an excipient in oral and topical pharmaceutical formulations. It is also used extensively in cosmetics and food products.
Hydroxypropyl cellulose is generally regarded as an essentially nontoxic and nonirritant material. It is not absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and is fully recovered in feces after oral administration in rats. It does not exhibit skin irritation or skin sensitization. However, the use of hydroxypropyl cellulose as a solid ocular insert has been associated with rare reports of discomfort or irritation, including hypersensitivity and edema of the eyelids. Adverse reactions to hydroxypropyl cellulose are rare. However, it has been reported that a single patient developed contact dermatitis due to hydroxypropyl cellulose in a transdermal estradiol patch. The WHO has specified an acceptable daily intake for
hydroxypropyl cellulose of up to 1500 mg/kg body-weight. Excessive consumption of hydroxypropyl cellulose may have a laxative effect.
LD50 (rat, IV): 0.25 g/kg
LD50 (rat, oral): 10.2 g/kg


Hydroxypropyl cellulose powder is a stable material, although it is hygroscopic after drying.
Aqueous solutions of hydroxypropyl cellulose are stable at pH 6.0–8.0, with the viscosity of solutions being relatively unaffected. However, at low pH aqueous solutions may undergo acid hydrolysis, resulting in chain scission and hence a decrease in solution viscosity. The rate of hydrolysis increases with increasing temperature and hydrogen ion concentration. At high pH, alkalicatalyzed oxidation may degrade the polymer and result in a decrease in viscosity of solutions. This degradation can occur owing to the presence of dissolved oxygen or oxidizing agents in a solution.
Increasing temperature causes the viscosity of aqueous solutions to decrease gradually until the viscosity drops suddenly at about 45°C owing to the limited solubility of hydroxypropyl cellulose. However, this process is reversible and on cooling the original viscosity is restored.
The high level of substitution of hydroxypropyl cellulose improves the resistance of the polymer to degradation by molds and bacteria. However, aqueous solutions are susceptible to degradation under severe conditions and a viscosity decrease may occur. Certain enzymes produced by microbial action will degrade hydroxypropyl cellulose in solution. Therefore, for prolonged storage, an antimicrobial preservative should be added to aqueous solutions. Solutions of hydroxypropyl cellulose in organic solvents do not generally require preservatives.
Ultraviolet light will also degrade hydroxypropyl cellulose and aqueous solutions may therefore decrease slightly in viscosity if exposed to light for several months.
Aqueous hydroxypropyl cellulose solutions have optimum stability when the pH is maintained at 6.0–8.0, and also when the solution is protected from light, heat, and the action of microorganisms. Hydroxypropyl cellulose powder should be stored in a wellclosed container in a cool, dry place.


Hydroxypropyl cellulose in solution demonstrates some incompatibility with substituted phenol derivatives, such as methylparaben and propylparaben. The presence of anionic polymers may increase the viscosity of hydroxypropyl cellulose solutions.
The compatibility of hydroxypropyl cellulose with inorganic salts varies depending upon the salt and its concentration. Hydroxypropyl cellulose may not tolerate high concentrations of other dissolved materials.
The balance of the hydrophilic–lipophilic properties of the polymer, which are required for dual solubility, reduces its ability to hydrate with water and it therefore tends to be salted out in the presence of high concentrations of other dissolved materials.
The precipitation temperature of hydroxypropyl cellulose is lower in the presence of relatively high concentrations of other dissolved materials that compete for the water in the system;

Regulatory Status

GRAS listed. Accepted for use as a food additive in Europe. Included in the FDA Inactive Ingredients Database (oral capsules and tablets; topical and transdermal preparations). Included in nonparenteral medicines licensed in the UK. Included in the Canadian List of Acceptable Non-medicinal Ingredients.

Hydroxypropyl cellulose Preparation Products And Raw materials

Global( 349)Suppliers
Supplier Tel Email Country ProdList Advantage
Hebei Yime New Material Technology Co., Ltd.
+86-66697723 +86-17703311139 China 535 58
Hebei Mojin Biotechnology Co., Ltd
15028179902 +8615028179902 China 12320 58
Hebei Fengqiang Trading Co., LTD
+8613373049370 China 982 58
Henan Tianfu Chemical Co.,Ltd.
+86-0371-55170693 +86-19937530512 China 21719 55
Hangzhou FandaChem Co.,Ltd.
+8615858145714 China 9365 55
Hefei TNJ Chemical Industry Co.,Ltd.
+86-0551-65418679 +86-18949832763 China 2990 55
Shanxi Naipu Import and Export Co.,Ltd
+86-13734021967 +8613734021967 China 1011 58
career henan chemical co
+86-0371-86658258 China 29920 58
Xiamen AmoyChem Co., Ltd
+86-592-6051114 +8618959220845 China 6387 58
Hubei xin bonus chemical co. LTD
86-13657291602 CHINA 22970 58

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View Lastest Price from Hydroxypropyl cellulose manufacturers

Image Update time Product Price Min. Order Purity Supply Ability Manufacturer
Hydroxypropyl cellulose pictures 2023-12-06 Hydroxypropyl cellulose
US $5.00 / kg 1000kg 99% 8000kg/week Hebei Yime New Material Technology Co., Ltd.
Hydroxypropyl cellulose pictures 2023-12-06 Hydroxypropyl cellulose
US $10.00 / kg 100kg 99% 8000kg/week Hebei Yime New Material Technology Co., Ltd.
Hydroxypropyl cellulose pictures 2023-08-31 Hydroxypropyl cellulose
US $100.00 / bag 1bag 99 5000 Hebei Fengqiang Trading Co., LTD
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