a simple ether of cellulose having the general formula [C6H7O2(OH)3− x(OCH2− COOH)x]n.The sodium salt of carboxylmethyl cellulose (sodium carboxylmethyl cellulose) is of great practical value. Like carboxylmethyl cellulose, it is a solid white substance with a bulk weight of 400–800kg/m3; the density of the salt is 1.59 g/cm3. Its solubility in alkali or in water is determined by the degree of etherification of the cellulose as well as by the conditions of solution. Carboxylmethyl cellulose is obtained during the interaction of cellulose with chloroacetic acid or (during the preparation of sodium carboxylmethyl cellulose) with its sodium salt in the presence of NaOH.
Sodium carboxylmethyl cellulose is used (1) to stabilize clay suspensions used in the drilling of petroleum and gas boreholes, (2) as an additive in detergents to inhibit the resorption by the fabric of impurities from the washing solution, (3) to size warp threads and as a thickener in printer’s ink, (4) as a flotation reagent, (5) to increase the plasticity of ceramic materials and the durability of the unfinished product (article), and (6) to control the rheological properties of cement suspensions.