Sodium CarboxyMethyl Cellulose is a white to cream-colored, free flowing, odorless powder. The powder is hygroscopic. It is readily dispersed in water to form colloidal solutions. It is insoluble in most solvents.

Oil drilling grade CMC is used in fracturing fluid, drilling fluid and well cementing fluid as a fluid loss controller and tackifier. It can protect the shaft wall and prevent mud loss thus enhance recovery efficiency. It has the following characteristics:

  • Excellent water retention even at low concentration.
  • Excellent thickening effect.
  • Good resistance to salt and temperature change.
  • Imparts excellent rheological property.

CMC is used in the energy services area (oil & gas industry) as an ingredient of drilling mud, where it acts as a viscosity modifier, suspension aid and water retention aid.

It is also used in cementing as a water retention aid, suspension aid, thickener (viscosity modifier). It also aids in improved flow dynamics and pumping. Carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) or cellulose gum is a cellulose derivative with carboxymethyl groups (-CH2-COOH) bound to some of the hydroxyl groups of the glucopyranose monomers that make up the cellulose backbone. It is often used as its sodium salt, sodium carboxymethyl cellulose.

CMC is synthesized by the alkali-catalyzed reaction of cellulose with chloroacetic acid. The polar (organic acid) carboxyl groups render the cellulose soluble and chemically reactive.

The functional properties of CMC depend on the degree of substitution of the cellulose structure (i.e., how many of the hydroxyl groups have taken part in the substitution reaction), as well as the chain length of the cellulose backbone structure and the degree of clustering of the carboxymethyl substituents.

Functions & properties

  • It acts as a thickener, binder, stabilizer, protective colloid, suspending agent, and rheology or for flow control
  • Forms films that are resistant to oils, greases and organic solvents
  • It dissolves readily in cold or hot water
  • It is an anionic polyelectrolyte
  • Viscosity (Brookfield, 1%.Brookfield 4# 30rpm) Mpa.s 5000-6000
  • PH 6.0—8.0
  • Purity % % w/w ≥99.5


  • Energy Application, Oil & Gas Well Products- rheology, thickening, suspension and water retention.
  • Adhesives- wall paper paste- water –binding aid, adhesion; good open time, non-staining. Starch corrugating adhesive- thickener; water-binding and suspension aid. Latex adhesive- Thickener, water binding aid
  • Aerial-drop fluids- insecticides- thickener; binder, suspending aid Drift control agent- thickener
  • Ceramics- glaze- binder for green strength; thickener, suspending aid. Porcelain slips, Viterous enamels, refractory mortars
  • Welding rod coatings- Binder, thickener, lubricant
  • Specialty Coatings- foundry core wash, latex- Binder; thickener, suspending aid
  • Latex paints; rheology control; suspending aid, protective colloid
  • Paper coatings- rheology control, suspending aid; protective colloid
  • Paper & paper products- internal addition- high strength binder, improves strength of paper
  • Paper- surface addition- high strength binder; improves dry strength of paper
  • Detergents- laundry- whiteness retention through soil suspension
  • Lithography- fountain and gumming solutions- Hydrophilic protective film
  • Water Based Inks- binder, rheology control; suspending aid
  • Textiles – laundry and fabric sizes- film former. Latex adhesives, backing compounds- rheology control, thickener, water binding and hold-out.Printing pastes and dyes- rheology control, thickener, water binding and hold out.
  • Warp sizing- high film strength, good adhesion to fiber, low BOD value


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