Ethyl Cellulose

ethyl cellulose

(organic chemistry)
The ethyl ester of cellulose; it has film-forming properties and is inert to alkalies and dilute acids; used in adhesives, lacquers, and coatings.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ethyl Cellulose


[C6H7O2(OH)3–x(OC2H5)x]n, the ethyl ether of cellulose.

Produced by the reaction of alkaline cellulose with ethyl chloride, ethyl cellulose takes the form of an odorless, tasteless, white powder with a density of 1.09–1.17 g/cm3. Readily soluble in many organic solvents, it is resistant to the action of water, alkaline solutions, and dilute mineral acids up to a temperature of approximately 80°C, but it breaks down in concentrated acids. Ethyl cellulose is compatible with other cellulose ethers, mineral oils, vegetable oils, most plasticizers, and many natural and synthetic resins. It is physiologically harmless.

Ethyl cellulose is thermoplastic, with a softening point of 140°–170°C and a melting point of 160°–210°C; it decomposes at temperatures above 200°C. Since the melts of ethyl cellulose are rapidly oxidized in the air, stabilizers—such as derivatives of aromatic alcohols or amines—must be added.

Products made from ethyl cellulose include automobile parts and the cases of radios; all the manufacturing methods employed with thermoplastics can be used with ethyl cellulose (seePLASTICS). Ethyl cellulose is also used to produce lacquers (see) and films (seePOLYMER FILMS). Articles made from ethyl cellulose are strong, having a Young’s modulus of 2.35 × 103 meganewtons per m2; they are resistant to frost and chemicals, and they have a low thermal conductivity and rate of combustion.


Rogovin, Z. A. Khimiiatselliulozy. Moscow, 1972. Pages 383–86.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Isopropanol has been deemed as an accurate solvent for compounds such as natural & epoxy resins, alkaloids, ethyl cellulose, and essential oils.
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The dispersed FTO particles were collected by centrifugation (6000 rpm for 5 min) and were mixed with ethyl cellulose and [alpha]-terpineol to prepare a paste for screen printing.
Fredersdorf et al., "Physicochemical properties and mechanism of drug release from ethyl cellulose matrix tablets prepared by direct compression and hot-melt extrusion," International Journal of Pharmaceutics, vol.
Their topics include new applications for photopolymerizable acrylic compositions, biodegradable compositions of polylactide with ethyl cellulose and chitosan plasticized by low-molecular poly(ethylene glycol), the formation of the phase structure of silano-modified ethylene copolymers with vinyl acetate and with vinyl acetate and maleic anhydride in a wide range of temperatures and compositions, and a comparative study of thermostable protein macromolecular complexes (cell proteomics) from different organisms.
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Functional coatings used in extended-release and delayed-pulsed-release products are usually based on insoluble polymers such as ethyl cellulose and methacrylates and are applied to oral multi-particulate products consisting of granules or pellets.
Some examples of polymers that are commonly used in sustained-release formulations include ethyl cellulose (in combination with the plasticizer acetyl tributyl citrate, or ATBC for short) and Eudragit NE 30 D.