Hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC)

Water-soluble cellulose derivative. Thickening agent. Rheology modifier.

Hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC) is a water-soluble cellulose derivative that is commonly used as a thickening agent and rheology modifier. It is widely employed in various industries, including cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, paints, and personal care products, for its ability to provide viscosity and improve product stability and performance.

Energy Sector

In the oil and gas industry, hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC) is utilized as a drilling fluid additive. It serves as a viscosifier, enhancing the viscosity and rheology of drilling muds to help maintain stability and control fluid loss. HEC is also used in well cementing operations to modify cement slurry properties and reduce fluid migration. Its water-solubility, stability, and thickening properties make HEC a valuable ingredient in oil and gas applications, aiding in efficient drilling and wellbore stability during drilling and production processes. Additionally, HEC contributes to anti-gas migration efforts by improving the sealing capabilities of cement slurries, which helps prevent gas from migrating through the cement matrix during the setting process. Its role in enhancing the viscosity and gel strength of cement slurries makes it harder for gas to channel through the unset cement, providing an indirect yet valuable mechanism for mitigating gas migration risks.


Hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC) is used in construction as a water-soluble thickening agent and rheology modifier. Added to cement-based materials, it improves workability, water retention, and bonding strength. HEC enhances viscosity and flow, facilitating application and improving performance. Its compatibility with other ingredients makes HEC a valuable additive, contributing to the quality and durability of cementitious products.


Hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC) is a vital ingredient in the pharmaceutical industry, serving as a binder in tablet formulations for cohesive properties. It is also used as a viscosity modifier and stabilizer in liquid medications, and as a suspending agent in oral suspensions to uniformly disperse drug particles. HEC plays critical roles in improving texture, appearance, and shelf-life of pharmaceutical products, ensuring their quality and performance.

CAS No.: 9004-62-0


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