Considerable scientific and industrial interest is currently being focused on a class of materials known as electrorheological (ER) fluids, which display remarkable rheological behaviour, being able to convert rapidly and repeatedly from a liquid to solid when an electric field (E) is applied or removed. In this study, biodegradable cellulose was modified and converted to their carboxyl salts. Modified cellulose is characterised by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and conductivity measurements. Suspensions of cellulose (C) and modified cellulose (MC) were prepared in insulated corn oil (CO). The effects of electric field strength, shear rate, shear stress, temperature, etc. of these suspensions onto ER activity were determined. Rheological measurements were carried out via a rotational rheometer with a high-voltage generator to investigate the effects of electric field strength and particle concentration on ER performance.