The ethyl groups of ethyl cellulose and its mixed ethers have stronger hydrophobicity than the methyl groups of methyl cellulose series products. Therefore, ethyl cellulose is in the industry a typical cellulose ether soluble in organic solvents but insoluble in water.
When the degree of substitution of ethyl is between 0.7 and 1.7, Ethyl Cellulose is soluble in water; while it is higher than 1 .5, it is soluble in organic solvents. The DS value of Ethyl Cellulose produced in the U.S. Is between 2.2-2.6. The product is soluble in the mixed solvent of hydrocarbon and a lower alcohol, ketones, and ethers with low molecular weight.
Ethyl Cellulose is usually white or slightly yellow. In order to prevent the ethoxy from autoxidation reaction and producing peroxides when irradiated by light, antioxidants are often added as stabilizers.
The Ethyl Cellulose products of U.S. Dow Chemical Company EC are called “Ethocel”. According to the degree of substitution, they can be divided into two categories—the standard type and the medium-sized type. The degree of substitution of standard-type product is from 2.44 to 2.58, and the ethoxy content is 48%-46.5%.
The degree of substitution of medium-sized product is from 2.24 to 2.34, and the ethoxy content is 45%-46.5%. Both types can be further divided into two grades—the industrial grade and high grade. The high-grade EC has a certain limit requirements on the ash, arsenic, lead, heavy metals and other impurities. It can be used medicine and food.
In addition, according to the differences in the viscosity, various kinds of EC can also be divided into different models.
The Ethyl Cellulose products of U.S. Hercules Company can be divided into three types—K,N,and T. The Ethyl Cellulose of each grade can in turn form 30 kinds of products according to the differences in the viscosity. Each model has special grade and quality requirements according to the special uses.