The Application of MIKEM Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC) in 10 Major Fields

The Application of MIKEM Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC) in 10 Major Fields

CMC is the substitution product of the cellulose carboxymethyl group. The appearance is a white or slightly yellow free-flowing powder, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic, and highly hygroscopic. It is insoluble in organic solvents such as ethanol, ether, isopropanol, chloroform, acetone, and soluble in ethanol or acetone solution containing 60% water. It is stable to light, heat, and PH values between 2-10; it does not precipitate or ferment in the case of NaCL and CaCL2 and has a robust emulsifying power to oil and wax. The discoloration temperature is 190-205 degrees Celsius, and the carbonization temperature is 235-243 degrees Celsius. The solubility of carboxymethyl cellulose is related to the degree of substitution. If the degree of substitution is more significant than 1.2, it is soluble in organic solvents; when the degree of substitution is 0.4-1.2, it is soluble in water and has good water retention; when the degree of substitution is <0.4 , Soluble in alkaline solution, 2% aqueous solution surface tension 71mn/n. According to the degree of polymerization reflected by the viscosity, the product can be divided into three levels: high viscosity type (2% aqueous solution, viscosity ≥1200mpa.s), medium viscosity type (2% aqueous solution, viscosity between 300-800mpa.s); low viscosity type (2% aqueous solution, viscosity <300mpa.s).

MIKEM CHEMICAL Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC) has excellent wettability, looseness, adhesion, thickening, emulsification, water retention, and film-forming properties, as well as impermeability to grease. The formed film has excellent resistance, flexibility, and transparency. Therefore, it can be widely used in various production fields such as construction, food, medicine, oil drilling, papermaking, and textiles. This product is the most extensive output, the most comprehensive application, and the most convenient use among cellulose ethers.

1. Applications of Carboxymethyl Cellulose in Oil and Gas Drilling Industry

Drilling fluid and completion fluid technology is an essential part of oil drilling engineering. It plays a vital role in ensuring safety, quality, and fast drilling. CMC’s primary function is embodied in fluid loss reduction and viscosity increase as a kind of treatment agent used to adjust the performance of drilling fluid and completion fluid.

CMC is used as a thickening agent to increase the drilling fluid’s viscosity, thereby increasing the drilling fluid’s suspending ability. The higher the product viscosity, the better its thickening effect; the higher the product viscosity ratio, the better it is salt resistance. CMC’s low-viscosity product can control the drilling fluid in a relatively low viscosity range and reduce fluid loss.

   When a CMC product is used as a fluid loss reducer, it can reasonably control water loss. After adding CMC, the drilling fluid can form a high-quality mud cake on the borehole wall. The percolation cake is thin and challenging, with a low permeability coefficient. It can protect the borehole wall with the dual ground and prevent water penetration and water loss in the drilling fluid. Generally, the fluid loss reduction effect of high-purity products is better than that of low-purity products. The fluid loss reduction effect of high-viscosity products is better than that of low-viscosity products. The better the internal quality of the product, the better the fluid loss reduction effect. 

2. Applications of Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC) in Paint & Coating Industry

As a protective colloid, MIKEM CMC can improve the stability of the emulsion polymerization system in a wide range of pH values, and can make pigments, fillers, and other additives uniformly dispersed in the coating so that the layer has excellent pigment adhesion effects and can significantly improve The viscosity of latex paint improves the leveling of the paint, improves the splash and sag resistance of the paint, thereby improving the construction performance of the paint.

3. Applications of Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC) in the Food Industry

In food, as a thickener, stabilizer, dispersant, extender, etc., MIKEM CMC is used in a wide range of applications, such as a viscous agent and extender when processing jam, syrup, sherbet, and spicy sauce; mayonnaise Or as a thickener in condiments, as a stabilizer in jelly, cakes, and baked goods, etc.; used in snack foods to make the organization uniform, delicate and beautiful; used to prevent the growth of ice crystals when making ice cream; in addition, it can also The film is formed for the surface treatment of vegetables, fruits, eggs, and tea to keep the original color and flavor for a long time.

CMC is derived from natural cellulose. As a food additive, it is neither absorbed nor metabolized by the human body. It is recognized as safe and harmless. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) set their allowable daily intake (ADI) as “unspecified”. CMC is recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a generally recognized safety (GRAS) food additive.

Ingredients of CMC:











Highest Salt Content/g




NACL/g 82




Sodium Glycollate /g








Ash Content(Based on Sulfate Ion)g/%





4. Applications of Carboxymethyl Cellulose CMC in Ceramic Industry

A large amount of CMC is mainly used in the ceramic body in the ceramic industry, glaze slurry, and flower glaze. 

In the glaze slurry, it is primarily used as a binding agent, and at the same time, it has the functions of suspension, decoagulation, and water retention. Its specific functions are:

  • It acts as a bonding agent to increase the green glaze’s strength, reduce the drying shrinkage of the glaze, make the body and the glaze bond firmly, and prevent glaze rolling and lack of glaze. At the same time, it has a suspension function to suspend the ceramic slurry. Prevent precipitation;
  • exert its water retention effect, make the glaze slurry have specific water retention, the glaze layer is dried evenly, forming a flat and dense glaze surface, after firing, the glazed surface is smooth and smooth;
  • Using its decoagulation effect to improve the fluidity of the glaze slurry, which is a convenient Glaze spraying operation.

5. Applications of Carboxymethyl Cellulose CMC in the Construction Material Industry

CMC is an important ionic water-soluble cellulose ether. It can be used as a retarder, water-retaining agent, thickener, and binder in building materials to improve water retention and strength. PAC is used for plastering gypsum, water-resistant putty, bonding gypsum, and caulking gypsum, which significantly improves its water retention and bonding strength. It also has the characteristics of good ease of mixing and no cracking.

6. Applications of Carboxymethyl Cellulose CMC in the Paper-making Industry

CMC can be used as a paper smoothing agent, coating agent, sizing agent, etc., in the paper industry. In the coated paper, CMC mainly controls and adjusts the rheology of the coating and the dispersion of the pigment, and increases the solid content of the coating; enhances the water retention of the coating and prevents the migration of the adhesive in the coating; improves the lubricity of the coating and improves the coating Layer quality, extend the service life of the scraper; have good film-forming properties, improve the gloss of the coating; increase the retention rate of the brightener in the coating, and increase the whiteness of the paper. Generally, the amount of CMC is between 0.3% and 1.5%. According to different coating formulations, different types of CMC and amounts can be selected. CMC’s main functions in pigment coating include improving the stability of the coating, adjusting the water retention of the coating, adjusting the viscosity of the coating, acting as a binder and dispersing agent, as a carrier of a brightener and a lubricant for the doctor blade.

7. Applications of Carboxymethyl Cellulose CMC in Tooth-paste Production Industry

With the continuous improvement of people’s living standards, as a toothpaste CMC, it is required not only to maintain moisture and increase viscosity in the toothpaste system but also to maintain the uniformity and fluidity of the system. This requires a high degree of substitution of CMC for toothpaste. (DS=0.85~0.95), high substitution uniformity, high purity (greater than 95%), and high viscosity (1000mPa·s).

8. Applications of Carboxymethyl Cellulose CMC in the Mining Industry

CMC is a pellet binder and flotation inhibitor in the mining industry.

  • Pellets binder is an indispensable ingredient in the preparation of pellets. It is required to have good bonding and ball forming properties, and the produced green balls should have good anti-knock properties, high compressive and falling strength, and It can also increase the iron content of the pellets
  • Flotation CMC is a commonly used flotation inhibitor. CMC can significantly enhance and converge the talc particle layer’s wettability and end surface to better inhibit the floating talc due to surface hydrophobicity and realize the floating of sulfide ore and talc. Choose separation. However, CMC cannot prevent a small amount of talc from floating up due to foam entrainment. CMC is adsorbed on serpentine’s surface by electrostatic adsorption, forming a water film on the surface of serpentine ore, causing the serpentine to be inhibited.

9. Applications of Carboxymethyl Cellulose in Textile and Dying Industry

CMC can be used as a sizing agent, fabric finishing agent in the textile industry, a thickener, emulsifier, and suspending agent in printing pastes.

The textile industry uses CMC as a sizing agent for plant sizing such as cotton, silk wool, chemical fiber, blended spinning, etc. The printing paste of man-made fiber fabrics generally contains high boiling point solvents, dyes, water, and good thickeners. CMC is both a thickening agent and an emulsifier. It can uniformly mix dyes with high boiling point solvents and water. It can also stabilize dye suspensions and prevent sedimentation and foam formation during storage.

10. Applications of Carboxymethyl Cellulose in the Pharmaceutical Industry

In the pharmaceutical industry, CMC can be used as emulsification stabilizer for various injections such as penicillin and streptomycin, the base material for multiple ointments, adhesive for tablets, barium sulfate for X-ray fluoroscopy, dispersant in oxidation state, and also used Repair teeth, make laxatives, hemostatic agents, adhesives and contraceptives.

At MIKEM, carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) is the largest and fastest-growing product. With the expansion of the carboxymethyl cellulose market and the diversification of products, there are higher product quality and stability requirements. We can provide you with one-to-one service and chemical solutions! CONTACT US now and check what we we can help!

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