From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|Other names||Carboxymethylcellulose; carmellose; E466|
|Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25°C, 100kPa)
Carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) 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.
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.
CMC is used in food science as a viscosity modifier or thickener, and to stabilize emulsions in various products including ice cream. As a food additive, it has E number E466. It is also a constituent of many non-food products, such as K-Y Jelly, toothpaste, laxatives, diet pills, water-based paints, detergents, textile sizing and various paper products. It is used primarily because of it has high viscosity, is non-toxic, and is non-allergenic. CMC is used as a lubricant in non-volatile eye drops (artificial tears). Sometimes it is methyl cellulose (MC) which is used, but its non-polar methyl groups (-CH3) do not add any solubility or chemical reactivity to the base cellulose.
Following the initial reaction the CMC resultant mix produces approximately 60 CMC plus 40% Salts (Sodium Chloride and Sodium Glycolate) This product is so called Technical CMC which is used in detergents. A further purification process is used to remove these salts to produce pure CMC which is used for food and pharmaceutical applications.
CMC is also used in oil drilling industry as an ingredient of drilling mud where it acts as viscosity modifier and water retention agent. In this field it is referred to as Poly Anionic Cellulose or PAC.
Insoluble microgranular carboxymethyl cellulose is used as a cation-exchange resin in ion-exchange chromatography for purification of proteins. Presumably the level of derivatization is much lower so that the solubility properties of microgranular cellulose are retained while adding sufficient negative charged carboxylate groups to bind positively charged proteins.
 See also
 External links
- CMC chemical structure and properties
- MC and CMC: commercial preparations and various uses, including paper conservation; bibliography