The cellulose ether solution is affected by cellulase enzymes and microorganisms. Enzymes first attack unsubstituted anhydroglucose units, which causes the hydrolysis scission of macromolecular chain and leads to reduction in viscosity of products. Ether substituents may play a protective role in the main chain of cellulose. Therefore, the stability of cellulose ether will be improved as DS increases or substituted uniformity enhances. Only a few unsubstituted anhydroglucose units are attacked by hydrolytic enzymes.
The cellulose ether is not subject to the air, moisture, sunlight, moderate heat and general contaminants and it is relatively stable. Strong oxidizing agents can generate peroxide and nitrogen groups, making the cellulose ether further degraded in alkaline conditions. When the cellulose alkaline solution is heated, the viscosity will decrease significantly. Like other organic polymers, under the action of high-energy radiation, the chain structure of the cellulose ether may be damaged and then degraded.
According to the application, industrial cellulose ether products, if conditions permit, can add biocides, buffering agents or reducing agents in order to achieve long-term storage stability, and constant viscosity in suitable storage conditions.