Has anyone tried making alcohol gel with a cellulose thickener like HPMC, HEC, CMC, etc?

It looks like everyone who is making alcohol gel is looking for alternative thickeners as Carbopol is getting very hard to find, especially the Ultrez grades.
Necessity is the mother of invention.

According to this
HPMC is soluble in up to 70% alcohol, while CMC and HEC are insoluble.

This patent advises to make a cellulose suspension in alcohol first and then add the water.

Has anyone read or tried to make alcohol gel with cellulose based thickeners?


  • ShamsShams Member
    I tried both HEC and xanthan gum for a 70%w/w alcohol content and both didn't work.
    Xanthan gum can hold up to 60% alcohol , but not more
  • hobbizhobbiz Member
    There is also an alternative to Ultrez 21, which is Ulcatrez 20 I think, same INCI.
    FOr other thickener:
    HEC: may gel but its soaping and foaming make it suck.
    Xanthan gum: not work well.
    Siligel: expensive and sticky.

  • em88em88 Member
    Tested HEC hhx 250, it doesn't work,
    Tested HPC high molecular mass, it works 
    I will try hpmc high molecular mass as soon as I have a little more time. 
    The problem with cellulose polymers is their ability to form noticable films, which will affect the sensory feeling. 
  • GuntherGunther Member
    hobbiz said:
    There is also an alternative to Ultrez 21, which is Ulcatrez 20 I think, same INCI.

    What's the manufacturer name for Ulcatrez?
    (Google ain't helping, it believes I'm looking for "Alcatraz", not Ulcatrez, LOL)
  • I attended a recent on line seminar where Tylose PSO 810001 was recommended for this application.   A clip from the presentation says "Tylose PSO 810001 thickens ethanol/water mixtures of any ratio"
    The suggested formulations was:
    Ethanol / water / glycerine (final concentration of ethanol: approx. 80 % v/v) 1. Ethanol 95 % v/v: 80,00 g 2. Water : 16,00 g 3. Glyerin: 3,00 g 4. Tylose PSO 810001: 0,5 – 1 g (dependent on the required viscosity).

  • letsalcidoletsalcido Member
    edited May 18
    These people did it with HEC https://www.ahal.mx/collections/antibacterial/products/gel-antibacterial

    Although I don’t know if the ingredient lists are accurate because I saw a serum (mix of oils only) with Ascorbic Acid listed as ingredient... Either it’s just precipitated at the bottom of the bottle or they’re using Ascorbyl Palmitate or another liposoluble vitamin C...

    So take it with a grain of salt.
  • HSC2020HSC2020 Member
    I hv done. Both the high molecular cellulose dissolved separate ly by water . When the solution are effective. then add alcohol in HPMC solution. After mixing add HEC solution to that solution. 
  • HSC2020HSC2020 Member
    Quantity as your formulation
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    hobbiz said:
    There is also an alternative to Ultrez 21, which is Ulcatrez 20 I think, same INCI...
    The same INCI doesn't mean much when it comes to complex polymers ;) . Not even simple chemicals have to be chemically identical just because they have the same INCI (unfortunately cosmetics doesn't know IUPAC nomenclature).
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @Pharma - Indeed.  I remember learning chemical nomenclature in college and then being surprised that I didn't know what half the ingredients on my shampoo bottle were.  But the cosmetic industry probably figured IUPAC names were too long to fit nicely on the packaging and too irrelevant to consumers. Also, imagine trying to come up with a single molecular name for the numerous blends of ingredients used.

Sign In or Register to comment.