Thickener intolerant to salt/minerals

Looking to make a gel containing a high load of magnesium chloride.  Can anyone please make a recommendation of what a good thickener might be that isn't affected by salt or minerals.  Thanks! 


  • FekherFekher Member, Professional Chemist
    @mhart123 try HEC
  • Sepimax Zen (polyacrylates crosspolymer-6) should also work
  • Sepimax Zen is certainly better than other thickeners but it only works to a certain point. Too much salt will turn it to water as well.
    Xanthan could be an option but it still will be runny. Hydrocolloids derived of acrylic acid don’t do well with electrolytes.
  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    Agree with ngaryeva001. All polyacrylates will eventually crash especially with divalent ions like Mg. How about the xanthan/magnesium aluminum silicate (Veegum) combo? May not look nice but will do the job.
  • thanks everyone! I've made up one gel with HEC and it looks nice now, we will see how it holds up overtime.

    @chemicalmatt I'm working on a different formulation (a lotion) with veegum R in it now but it doesn't seem to add any viscosity.  I have it at 1.5%, putting it in the water phase and heating to 75/80C based off a formula from the manufacturer.  This is my first time working with it, can you please advise on the best way to use it? 
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