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Hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose

Chemical Name:
Hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose
Molecular Formula:
Formula Weight:
MOL File:

Hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose Properties

Melting point:
225-230 °C
storage temp. 
room temp
H2O: 50 mg/mL, clear to very faintly turbid, faintly yellow
White to cream
35.0 - 65.0 cps
Water Solubility 
Stable. Solid is combustible, incompatible with strong oxidizing agents.
SCOGS (Select Committee on GRAS Substances)
Hydroxypropylmethyl cellulose
Substances Added to Food (formerly EAFUS)
172.874; 175.105; 175.300
ATC code
EPA Substance Registry System
2-Hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose (9004-65-3)


Risk and Safety Statements

Safety Statements  24/25
WGK Germany  1
RTECS  NF9125000
HS Code  39129000

Hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose price More Price(54)

Manufacturer Product number Product description CAS number Packaging Price Updated Buy
Sigma-Aldrich 09963 (Hydroxypropyl)methyl cellulose 9004-65-3 25g $44.4 2021-12-16 Buy
Sigma-Aldrich 09963 (Hydroxypropyl)methyl cellulose 9004-65-3 100g $117 2021-12-16 Buy
Alfa Aesar 044779 Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose 9004-65-3 50g $36 2022-04-27 Buy
Alfa Aesar 044779 Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose 9004-65-3 1kg $306 2022-04-27 Buy
TRC H998600 Hypromellose 9004-65-3 250g $425 2021-12-16 Buy
Product number Packaging Price Buy
09963 25g $44.4 Buy
09963 100g $117 Buy
044779 50g $36 Buy
044779 1kg $306 Buy
H998600 250g $425 Buy

Hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose Chemical Properties,Uses,Production

Product features

Hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose is propylene glycol ether of methyl cellulose, hydroxypropyl and methyl combine with anhydrous glucose ring by ether bond.It is white or pale white cellulose powder or particles. The characteristics of cold water dissolution and hot water insoluble are similar with methyl cellulose. Solubility in organic solvents is superior than water soluble, can be dissolved in anhydrous methanol and ethanol solution, also soluble in chlorinated hydrocarbons and ketones in organic solvents. Soluble in water, its water solution has a surface activity, the formation of the film after drying, heated and cooled, in turn, from the reversible conversion of sol to gel. Can be used alone in the cold drink, also can be used with other emulsifier, stabilizer. To cold drink, the maximum amount is 1%. Hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose and other water-soluble high weight compounds use mixture, become transparent, higher viscosity. The gelation temperature of low viscosity products is higher than high viscosity of products. Its solution is stable at room temperature. In recent years, It has been widely used in petroleum chemical industry, papermaking, leather, textile printing and dyeing, pharmaceutical, food, cosmetics and other industries, and as the dispersing agent, thickening agent, adhesive, excipient, capsule, oil resistant coating and packing etc.

Figure 1 The molecular structure of hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose

Chemical Properties

Hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose is propylene glycol ether of methyl cellulose, hydroxypropyl and methyl combine with anhydrous glucose ring by ether bond.It is white or pale white cellulose powder or particles.It has different types of products, the methoxy and hydroxypropyl content ratio is different. It is white or gray fibrous powder or particles. It is soluble in water and some organic solvents and unsoluble in ethanol. Aqueous solution has a surface activity, the formation of the film after drying, heated and cooled, in turn, from the sol to gel reversible transformation.


Hydroxypropyl Methyl Cellulose (HPMC) are water soluble polymers derived from cellulose. They are typically used as thickeners, binders, film formers, and water retention agents. They also function as suspension aids, surfactants, lubricants, protective colloids, and emulsifiers. In addition, solutions of these polymers thermally gel.
hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose has many excellent properties. lt is presented below some examples of HPMC applications:
Food industry: stabilizers of emulsions and foams, as a replacement for fat, as a non-caloric bulking agentin foods, as a binder, among others.
Pharmaceutical industry: as a dispersing and thickening agent, film-coating of tablets, drug preparations,among others.
Cosmetics industry: hair shampoo, eye makeup, skin care preparations, among others.

Liquid Detergents

Hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose and methyl cellulose are also water-soluble nonionic polymers. They are compatible with inorganic salts and ionic species up to a certain concentration. Methyl cellulose can be salted out of solution when the concentration of electrolytes or other dissolved materials exceeds certain limits. Hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose has a higher tolerance for salts in solution than methyl cellulose. Both are stable over a pH range of 3 to 11. Commercial water-soluble methyl cellulose products have a methoxy DS of 1.64 to 1.92. A DS of lower than 1.64 yields material with lower water solubility.The methoxy DS in hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose ranges from 1.3 to 2. Thehydroxypropyl MS ranges from 0.13 to 0.82. Methyl cellulose and hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose polymers have a number of applications and are used as thickeners in latex paints,food products,shampoos,creams and lotions, and cleansing gels. U.S.Patent 5,565,421 is an example of the use of hydroxypropylmethyl cellulose polymer to gel a light-duty liquid detergent containing anionic surfactants.

Ophthalmic remedy

[Application] Through the stability and thickening of anterior corneal tear, it can promote corneal moist, cut off time, extend the tear film in dry eyes and can prolong the retention time of tear film. It used for the lack of clinical tear caused by dry eyes and eye irritation, and the treatment of keratoconjunctivitis sicca, exposure keratitis and Neuroparalytic keratitis to prevent corneal injury. It can be used for hard contact lenses or artificial eye lubricant. For gonioscopy, contact endoscopy and surgery, it is as a medium in condensation genioplasty or retinal laser iridectomy in the process to protect the cornea.
[dosage] eye: 0.3%~1% solution, 1 drops, 3~4 times /d. 2% of the solution is used for the anterior chamber angle.
[Attention and taboo] Using it can sometimes have blurred vision or eyelid adhesion feeling. Continuous time should not exceed 3 Days. Wearing soft contact lens is banned to corneal epithelial disease. Wear a hard contact lens should prevent the lens floating.
[Specification] eye drops: 0.3%, 0.5%, 1%, 2.5%.
This information is edited by Chemicalbook Xiannan (2015-08-31).

Identification test

It is soluble in water swelling, forming a transparent milky white sticky gel solution, and insoluble in ethanol.


ADI does not make special provisions (FAO/WHO, 2001). It can be used for food safety (FDA. §172.87, 2000). LD505200mg/kg (rats, intra peritoneal injection).

Limited use

FAO/WHO (1984): Cold drink ,10g/kg (in the end product design, single use or with other emulsifier, stabilizer and thickener dosage).
GB 2760-96: all kinds of food, to GMP limited.

Methods of production

Hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose is obtained by treatment of fibrous plant material with alkali, methyl chloride and propylene oxide.
1.The refined cotton cellulose with alkali treatment at 35-40 ℃ for half an hour, press, crushed the cellulose, aging at 35 ℃, so that the average degree of polymerization of alkali cellulose is in a desired range. The alkali fiber into etherification reactor, followed by adding epoxy propane and methane chloride, etherification at 50-80 ℃ for 5h, the maximum pressure is about 1.8MPa. The reaction products were produced by postprocessing (hydrochloric acid and oxalic acid, washing and drying). The consumption of raw material of cotton pulp 1100kg/t, methyl chloride and propylene oxide 4300kg/t, solid alkali 1200kg/t, hydrochloride 30kg/t, oxalic acid 50kg/t.
2.100 kg refined cotton linters immersed in 45% solution, temperature is 35 to 40℃, time is 0.5 to 1 h, and then remove the press. The pressure to weight is 2.7 times as the weight of lint, stop pressure. Carry out the crushing. At 35℃, aging for 16h.
In the reaction kettle, the chlorinated methane, propylene oxide were added into the reaction kettle. At 80℃, the pressure was 1.8 MPa, the reaction time is 5 to 8 h, and the amount of hydrochloric acid and oxalic acid were added to the hot water at 90℃. Dewatering with centrifuge, washing to neutral, when the water content of the material is below to 60% , 130℃ of hot air flow dried to the moisture content is below 5%. Finally, the finished product sieved by 20 mesh.
3. Prepared by cellulose, methyl chloride, and ethylene oxide.


Cellulose is a natural substance normally present in most diets because it is the major structural carbohydrate of green plants. Cellulose is essentially a linear polymer of glucopyranose units connected by (3-1,4-glucoside links. In nature, cellulose is present in plant cell walls as fibers. The molecular weight of isolated cellulose is approximately 50,000. The principal sources of cellulose for food related purposes are cotton linters and wood pulp. Chemical processing converts cellulose into forms or derivatives suitable for incorporation into food products, or for use in food packaging materials. Hydroxypropylmethyl cellulose is synthesized from methyl cellulose by the action of alkali and propylene oxide. The resultant product is a water soluble ether derivative of cellulose containing both methoxy and hydroxypropyl groups. The degree of substitution is 1.08 to 1.83 with the hydroxypropyl groups as the minor constituent. It is used as a thickening agent, stabilizer, and emulsifier.

Chemical Properties

white or slightly beige powder or a viscous solution

Chemical Properties

Hypromellose is an odorless and tasteless, white or creamy-white fibrous or granular powder.


As emulsifier, film former, protective colloid, stabilizer, suspending agent, or thickener in foods. Pharmaceutic aid (suspending agent; tablet excipient; demulcent; viscosity increasing agent); hydrophilic carrier in drug delivery systems. In adhesives, asphalt emulsions, caulking compounds, tile mortars, plastic mixes, cements, paints.


Hypromellose is a thickener for aqueous and non-aqueous systems, clear films with grease resistance, binders, lubricants, steric stabilizer and water retention aid. As a food additive, hypromellose is an emulsifier, thickening and suspending agent, and an alternative to animal gelatin.


Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose is a gum formed by the reaction of propylene oxide and methyl chloride with alkali cellulose. it will gel as the temperature is increased in heating and upon cooling will liquefy. the gel temperature ranges from 60°c to 90°c, forming semifirm to mushy gels. it is used in bakery goods, dressings, breaded foods, and salad dressing mix for syneresis control, texture, and to provide hot viscosity. usage level ranges from 0.05 to 1.0%.

Production Methods

A purified form of cellulose, obtained from cotton linters or wood pulp, is reacted with sodium hydroxide solution to produce a swollen alkali cellulose that is chemically more reactive than untreated cellulose. The alkali cellulose is then treated with chloromethane and propylene oxide to produce methyl hydroxypropyl ethers of cellulose. The fibrous reaction product is then purified and ground to a fine, uniform powder or granules. Hypromellose can then be exposed to anhydrous hydrogen chloride to induce depolymerization, thus producing low viscosity grades.

General Description

Pharmaceutical secondary standards for application in quality control provide pharma laboratories and manufacturers with a convenient and cost-effective alternative to the preparation of in-house working standards

Pharmaceutical Applications

Hypromellose is widely used in oral, ophthalmic, nasal, and topical pharmaceutical formulations.
In oral products, hypromellose is primarily used as a tablet binder, in film-coating,and as a matrix for use in extendedrelease tablet formulations. Concentrations between 2% and 5% w/w may be used as a binder in either wet- or dry-granulation processes. High-viscosity grades may be used to retard the release of drugs from a matrix at levels of 10–80% w/w in tablets and capsules. Hypromellose is also used in liquid oral dosage forms as a suspending and/or thickening agent at concentrations ranging from 0.25–5.0%.
Depending upon the viscosity grade, concentrations of 2–20% w/w are used for film-forming solutions to film-coat tablets. Lowerviscosity grades are used in aqueous film-coating solutions, while higher-viscosity grades are used with organic solvents. Examples of film-coating materials that are commercially available include AnyCoat C, Spectracel, Pharmacoat, and the Methocel E Premium LV series. Hypromellose is also used as a suspending and thickening agent in topical formulations. Compared with methylcellulose, hypromellose produces aqueous solutions of greater clarity, with fewer undissolved fibers present, and is therefore preferred in formulations for ophthalmic use. Hypromellose at concentrations between 0.45–1.0% w/w may be added as a thickening agent to vehicles for eye drops and artificial tear solutions. It is also used commercially in liquid nasal formulations at a concentration of 0.1%. Hypromellose is used as an emulsifier, suspending agent, and stabilizing agent in topical gels and ointments. As a protective colloid, it can prevent droplets and particles from coalescing or agglomerating, thus inhibiting the formation of sediments. In addition, hypromellose is used in the manufacture of capsules, as an adhesive in plastic bandages, and as a wetting agent for hard contact lenses. It is also widely used in cosmetics and food products.


Hypromellose is widely used as an excipient in oral, opthalmic, nasal, and topical pharmaceutical formulations. It is also used extensively in cosmetics and food products.
Hypromellose is generally regarded as a nontoxic and nonirritating material, although excessive oral consumption may have a laxative effect. The WHO has not specified an acceptable daily intake for hypromellose since the levels consumed were not considered to represent a hazard to health. In fact, high dosages of hypromellose are being investigated for treating various metabolic syndromes.
LD50 (mouse, IP): 5 g/kg(20) LD50 (rat, IP): 5.2 g/kg


Hypromellose powder is a stable material, although it is hygroscopic after drying.
Solutions are stable at pH 3–11. Hypromellose undergoes a reversible sol–gel transformation upon heating and cooling, respectively. The gelation temperature is 50–90°C, depending upon the grade and concentration of material. For temperatures below the gelation temperature, viscosity of the solution decreases as temperature is increased. Beyond the gelation temperature, viscosity increases as temperature is increased.
Aqueous solutions are comparatively enzyme-resistant, providing good viscosity stability during long-term storage. However, aqueous solutions are liable to microbial spoilage and should be preserved with an antimicrobial preservative: when hypromellose is used as a viscosity-increasing agent in ophthalmic solutions, benzalkonium chloride is commonly used as the preservative. Aqueous solutions may also be sterilized by autoclaving; the coagulated polymer must be redispersed on cooling by shaking.
Hypromellose powder should be stored in a well-closed container, in a cool, dry place.


Hypromellose is incompatible with some oxidizing agents. Since it is nonionic, hypromellose will not complex with metallic salts or ionic organics to form insoluble precipitates.

Regulatory Status

GRAS listed. Accepted for use as a food additive in Europe. Included in the FDA Inactive Ingredients Database (ophthalmic and nasal preparations; oral capsules, suspensions, syrups, and tablets;topical and vaginal preparations). Included in nonparenteral medicines licensed in the UK. Included in the Canadian List of Acceptable Non-medicinal Ingredients.

Hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose Preparation Products And Raw materials

Global( 511)Suppliers
Supplier Tel Email Country ProdList Advantage
Jinan Finer Chemical Co., Ltd
531-88989536 +8615508631887 CHINA 2110 58
Hefei TNJ Chemical Industry Co.,Ltd.
0551-65418679 China 2995 55
Neostar United (Changzhou) Industrial Co., Ltd.
519-85557386 China 8352 58
Hebei Qige Biological Technology Co. Ltd
+8618733132031 CHINA 1322 58
Zhuozhou Wenxi import and Export Co., Ltd
+8613111626072 CHINA 13187 58
Baoji Guokang Healthchem co.,ltd
+8615604608665 15604608665 CHINA 9459 58
Wuhan Shuokang Biological Technology Co.,Ltd
027-87366298 +8615927270571 CHINA 296 58
+8617731987558 China 1001 58
ShanDong Look Chemical Co.,Ltd.
+8617653113219 China 2736 58
Henan DaKen Chemical CO.,LTD.
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View Lastest Price from Hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose manufacturers

Image Release date Product Price Min. Order Purity Supply Ability Manufacturer
2022-04-28 Hydroxypropyl Methyl Cellulose
US $0.00 / g 1g 99% 20MT Hebei baicao biology science and technology co., ltd
2022-04-24 Hydroxypropyl Methyl Cellulose
US $12.00 / kg 1kg 99 5000kg Jiangsu Bangdeya New Material Technology Co.,Ltd
2022-03-08 Hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose
US $30.00 / KG 1KG 99% 20 tons Wuhan wingroup Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd
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