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Ethyl cellulose

Ethyl cellulose
Ethyl cellulose structure
Chemical Name:
Ethyl cellulose
Molecular Formula:
Formula Weight:
MOL File:

Ethyl cellulose Properties

1.14 g/mL at 25 °C(lit.)
refractive index 
n20/D 1.47(lit.)
storage temp. 
room temp
esters, aromatic hydrocarbons, alcohols and ketones: soluble
Specific Gravity
White to slightly yellow
Water Solubility 
EPA Substance Registry System
Cellulose, ethyl ether(9004-57-3)


Hazard Codes  Xi
Risk Statements  36/37/38
Safety Statements  26-36
WGK Germany  1
RTECS  FJ5950500
Autoignition Temperature 698 °F
HS Code  39129000
Hazardous Substances Data 9004-57-3(Hazardous Substances Data)

Ethyl cellulose price More Price(27)

Manufacturer Product number Product description CAS number Packaging Price Updated Buy
Sigma-Aldrich 200646 Ethyl cellulose viscosity 4 cP, 5 % in toluene/ethanol 80:20(lit.), extent of labeling: 48% ethoxyl 9004-57-3 250g $210 2018-11-13 Buy
Sigma-Aldrich 1265504 Ethyl cellulose United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Reference Standard 9004-57-3 1g $386 2018-11-13 Buy
TCI Chemical E0072 Ethyl Cellulose [18-22mPa.s, 5% in Toluene + Ethanol (80:20) at 25°C] 9004-57-3 25g $21 2018-11-22 Buy
TCI Chemical E0072 Ethyl Cellulose [18-22mPa.s, 5% in Toluene + Ethanol (80:20) at 25°C] 9004-57-3 500g $111 2018-11-22 Buy
Alfa Aesar H27621 Ethyl cellulose 9004-57-3 250mg $58.7 2018-11-13 Buy

Ethyl cellulose Chemical Properties,Uses,Production

Chemical Properties

white to slightly yellowish powder

Chemical Properties

Ethylcellulose is a tasteless, free-flowing, white to light tan-colored powder.


ethyl cellulose is a binder, film former, and thickener. It is used in suntan gels, creams, and lotions. This is the ethyl ether of cellulose.


Film-former in coatings, hot-melt adhesives and transfer inks and as a plastic coating for a variety of substrates.


In the manufacture of plastics and lacquers. Pharmaceutic aid (tablet binder).


Used 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 Methods

Ethylcellulose 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.

brand name

Aquacoat ECD (FMC);Ethocel (Dow Chemical).

Pharmaceutical Applications

Ethylcellulose 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 Profile

Low toxicity by ingestion and skin contact. A skin irritant. When heated to decomposition it emits acrid smoke and irritating fumes


Ethylcellulose 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


Ethylcellulose 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.


Incompatible with paraffin wax and microcrystalline wax.

Regulatory Status

GRAS 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

Raw materials

Preparation Products

Ethyl cellulose Suppliers

Global( 205)Suppliers
Supplier Tel Fax Email Country ProdList Advantage
Shenzhen Sendi Biotechnology Co.Ltd.
0755-23311925 18102838259
0755-23311925 CHINA 3203 55
Henan DaKen Chemical CO.,LTD.
+86-371-55531817 CHINA 21967 58
Henan Tianfu Chemical Co.,Ltd.
0371-55170693 CHINA 20680 55
Mainchem Co., Ltd.
+86-0592-6210733 CHINA 32457 55
Xiamen AmoyChem Co., Ltd
+86 (0)592-605 1114 CHINA 6374 58
Chemwill Asia Co.,Ltd.
86-21-51861608;;; CHINA 24001 58
Hubei Jusheng Technology Co.,Ltd.
86-188-71490254 CHINA 20095 58
Haihang Industry Co.,Ltd
+86 531 8582 1093 CHINA 4669 58
Cangzhou Wanyou New Material Technology Co.,Ltd
18631714998 CHINA 270 58
career henan chemical co
+86-371-86658258 CHINA 20104 58

View Lastest Price from Ethyl cellulose manufacturers

Image Release date Product Price Min. Order Purity Supply Ability Manufacturer
2018-07-24 Ethyl cellulose
US $25.00 / KG 1KG 99% 20T career henan chemical co
2019-04-15 Ethyl cellulose
US $1.00 / g 10g 99% 3000 Kilogram/Kilograms per Year Cangzhou Wanyou New Material Technology Co.,Ltd

Ethyl cellulose Spectrum

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