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Thread: Expert help requested, but anyone might be able to help

  1. #1 Expert help requested, but anyone might be able to help 
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    Hello everyone who reads this!

    I have been searching, for a while, for a substance that increases the viscosity (gooeyness/slimyness) of water while still maintaining transparency (the ability to see clearly through it). The chemical compound that I stumbled upon yesterday is methylcellulose (sometimes methyl cellulose). It does both of the things that I want it to, and has the added bonus of being edible, which allows for many more uses.

    Now, I have two questions.

    1) I have heard of multiple "versions" of methylcellulose, and I have been wondering which version would be the best if I am trying to create clear gel/goo?

    2) I have been searching the internet for powdered methylcellulose in quantities starting at 1lb and up, and the price has ranged from $13.80 to 218.00 for 1lb. My question is: how would one go about making methylcellulose, and what ingredients are needed?

    P.S: When someone replies to this, could they also please give me an estimated time between further replies? i.e. wait 2 days for a reply, or wait 1/2 an hour for a reply, because most of the forums that I have used in the past had so many users online that you could expect a reply within 30 seconds. I later got in trouble on a slow-moving forum for expecting a fast reply, which is why this is here.)

    Thanks!


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  3. #2  
    JGK
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    If you're making methyl cellulose you'll need a stirring hotplate.

    Heat the water to 60 -70C stirrijg continouosly and add the methyl cellulose powder slowly allowing each quantity added to dissolcve before continuing.

    If you are usinghigh viscosity material be prepared for a long preparation taking (possibly) days and not hours and you may have to emloy more aggressive mixing techniques (an ultratarrax/polytron mixer instead of the magnetic stirrer) to get dissolution.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by JGK
    If you're making methyl cellulose you'll need a stirring hotplate.

    Heat the water to 60 -70C stirrijg continouosly and add the methyl cellulose powder slowly allowing each quantity added to dissolcve before continuing.

    If you are usinghigh viscosity material be prepared for a long preparation taking (possibly) days and not hours and you may have to emloy more aggressive mixing techniques (an ultratarrax/polytron mixer instead of the magnetic stirrer) to get dissolution.
    Thanks, but I'm not sure I was clear enough. What I meant was: how do I get methyl cellulose powder in the first place? What do I extract from what to get it? What is the process for getting the powder form, or even the gel form, out of whatever it is you get methyl cellulose from?
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  5. #4  
    JGK
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    Quote Originally Posted by jomon
    Quote Originally Posted by JGK
    If you're making methyl cellulose you'll need a stirring hotplate.

    Heat the water to 60 -70C stirring continouosly and add the methyl cellulose powder slowly allowing each quantity added to dissolcve before continuing.

    If you are usinghigh viscosity material be prepared for a long preparation taking (possibly) days and not hours and you may have to emloy more aggressive mixing techniques (an ultratarrax/polytron mixer instead of the magnetic stirrer) to get dissolution.
    Thanks, but I'm not sure I was clear enough. What I meant was: how do I get methyl cellulose powder in the first place? What do I extract from what to get it? What is the process for getting the powder form, or even the gel form, out of whatever it is you get methyl cellulose from?
    I work in a Lab, I buy it from Aldrich.

    I doubt if you could prepare it yourself as you would have to extrcact and purify cellulose then methylate it. I suspect it would be cheaper to buy it.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by JGK
    Quote Originally Posted by jomon
    Quote Originally Posted by JGK
    If you're making methyl cellulose you'll need a stirring hotplate.

    Heat the water to 60 -70C stirring continouosly and add the methyl cellulose powder slowly allowing each quantity added to dissolcve before continuing.

    If you are usinghigh viscosity material be prepared for a long preparation taking (possibly) days and not hours and you may have to emloy more aggressive mixing techniques (an ultratarrax/polytron mixer instead of the magnetic stirrer) to get dissolution.
    Thanks, but I'm not sure I was clear enough. What I meant was: how do I get methyl cellulose powder in the first place? What do I extract from what to get it? What is the process for getting the powder form, or even the gel form, out of whatever it is you get methyl cellulose from?
    I work in a Lab, I buy it from Aldrich.

    I doubt if you could prepare it yourself as you would have to extrcact and purify cellulose then methylate it. I suspect it would be cheaper to buy it.
    Oh, well I guess I will buy it then. Aldrich? I hope I'm not making a fool out of myself when I say this, but is Aldrich a company or a place? Sorry for the late response as well.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jomon
    I doubt if you could prepare it yourself as you would have to extrcact and purify cellulose then methylate it. I suspect it would be cheaper to buy it.
    Oh, well I guess I will buy it then. Aldrich? I hope I'm not making a fool out of myself when I say this, but is Aldrich a company or a place? Sorry for the late response as well.[/quote]Aldrich is a company that sells many chemicals. http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/sigma-aldrich/home.html
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    Aldrich is a company that sells many chemicals. http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/sigma-aldrich/home.html
    Thanks very much!

    Now the only thing to do is figure out the differences between my choices... I know what high and low viscosity mean, but 90 HG? No clue. I guess my best bet would be to go for Methocel, since that one seems to be a fairly accepted brand, although I hope it's transparent once made... I also don't seem to be able to find how much of it I'm actually getting. I may just not be looking in the right spot, but is there some place that shows the weight or volume of what you're buying?

    I really am still a newb at this. Thanks for all the help!
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  9. #8  
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    Crap. I went to SigmaAldrich, and they have something that states:

    "Due to the hazardous nature of many of the products we sell, all requests to order / request quotes on-line are reviewed to verify that you are part of an organization that is an existing Sigma-Aldrich customer."

    ....Which I'm not.

    Sorry to revive a dead thread, but could someone help me here? I just want to obtain some methylcellulose for use in experimenting with increasing water viscosity without losing transparency, as well as being safe for human consumption should that accidentally happen.
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