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Methyl Hydroxyethyl Cellulose as a Sustainable Additive for Water-based Coatings

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-09-11      Origin: Site


With the increasing demand for environmentally friendly and sustainable materials, there is a growing interest in the use of new additives in water-based coatings. Methyl hydroxyethyl cellulose (MHEC) is a plant-derived polymer that is widely used as a water-soluble thickener and binder for coatings, mainly due to its unique properties. This review summarizes recent developments in the use of MHEC in water-based coatings, with an emphasis on its sustainability and environmental benefits.

Properties of MHEC

MHEC is a cellulose ether derived from wood pulp or cotton linters, which are renewable and sustainable resources. It is non-toxic, biodegradable, and non-hazardous to human health and the environment. MHEC has a high molecular weight, which makes it an excellent thickening agent for water-based coatings. It also has good film-forming properties, which improve the mechanical strength of coatings. Moreover, MHEC has excellent water retention properties, which reduces the need for additional solvents and minimizes the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during application.

Applications of MHEC in Water-based Coatings

MHEC is widely used in water-based coatings, mainly due to its excellent rheology-modifying properties. It can be used to thicken coatings, improve their flow properties, and increase their open time. MHEC can also act as a binder, improving the adhesion of coatings to various substrates, such as metal, wood, and plastic. Furthermore, MHEC can be used as a film-forming agent, enhancing the mechanical properties of coatings, such as flexibility, durability, and scratch resistance.

Sustainability Benefits of MHEC

MHEC has several sustainability benefits when used in water-based coatings. First, it is derived from renewable and sustainable resources, such as wood pulp and cotton linters, which reduces the dependence on fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources. Second, MHEC is biodegradable and does not accumulate in the environment. It also decomposes into harmless compounds, such as carbon dioxide and water, which reduces the impact on the ecosystem. Third, MHEC has low toxicity, which reduces the potential risks to human health and the environment. Moreover, its excellent water retention properties reduce the need for solvents, which minimizes the emission of VOCs during application.


In conclusion, MHEC is a sustainable additive for water-based coatings due to its renewable and sustainable nature, non-toxicity, biodegradability, and excellent rheology-modifying properties. MHEC can be used as a thickener, binder, and film-forming agent, improving the mechanical properties of coatings and reducing the need for additional solvents. Its use in water-based coatings can contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly coating industry. Future research should focus on optimizing the use of MHEC in water-based coatings and exploring its potential for other applications in the coatings industry.