Methylcellulose

Methylcellulose, carboxymethylcellulose, and hydroxymethylcellulose are forms of the familiar polysacharide cellulose, treated to make it more soluble in water. Cellulose is a long chain made of the sugar glucose. The long chains mix with water to make a thick syrup or gel. Methylcellulose is used as a thickener in sauces and salad dressings, and as a thickener and stabilizer in ice cream, where it helps prevent ice crystals from forming during freezing or re-freezing after a thaw.

Methylcellulose is a Bulk Forming Fiber Laxative . Bulk laxatives absorb liquid in the intestines and swell to form a soft bulky stool. The bulky mass stimulates the intestinal muscles speeding stool transit time through the colon. Methylcellulose will not work as a bulking forming laxative without increased fluid intake.

Characteristics:
(1) Property: white powder, odorless, smellless and nontoxic.
(2) Water retention: Methylcellulose can absorb several times water than the weight itself to maintain high retention of water in stucco, plaster, coating, etc.
(3) Soluble in cold water to form transparent viscous liquid.
(4) Soluble in some organic solvent and the mixed solvent of water and organic compound because of the existence of hydrophobic group.
(5) Salt resistance: Methyl cellulose is a kind of nonionic and non-polyelectrolyte so as to be stable in metal salt and the aqueous solution of organic electrolyte. Gelatification and precipitation will occur if much electrolyte.
(6) Surface activity: its aqueous solution is of surface activity to act as colloid protective agent, emulsifier and dispersant.
(7) Heat gelatification: when heated to certain temperature, the aqueous solution will change into nontransparent one because of gelatification and precipitation. When gradually cooled, it will rechange into original state. The temperature of gelatification and precipitation is decided by the type of product, the concentration of solution and heated speed.
(8) Low ash: because of the property of heat gelatification, adopting heat water to wash during preparation to refine the product.Therefore, it is of low ash content.
(9) pH stability: the viscosity of aqueous solution is little affected by acid and alkali, its aqueous solution is stable in wide pH range from 3.0 to 11.0
(10) Shape retention: compared with other water-soluble polymer, its aqueous solution has special viscoelastic performance.
(11) Lubricating property: reduce friction coefficient to improve the lubricating property of ceramics and concrete products.
(12) Film-forming property: form solid, flexible and transparent film to show good resistance to oil and ester.

Dissolving method:
Heat the water to 80-90 and slowly add MC under continuous agitation, after reduction in temperature and cooling to form uniform aqueous solution. Or add one third to two third of needed water, heat them to 80-90 and slowly add MC under continuous agitation, after swelling, add residual cool water and cooling.

Usages: Methylcellulose is widely used as thickener, adhesive, water retention agent, film-forming agent, excipient and emulsifier in construction, building materials, dispersed coating, polymerization auxiliaries, cosmetic, medicine, food, leather, ink and paper making, etc.