Thursday, March 29, 2012


  • Diethanolamine, often abbreviated as DEA, is an organic compound with the formula HN(CH2CH2OH)2. This colorless liquid is polyfunctional, being a secondary amine and a diol. Like other organic amines, diethanolamine acts as a weak base. Reflecting the hydrophilic character of the alcohol groups, DEA is soluble in water, and is even hygroscopic.
  • Amides prepared from DEA are often also hydrophilic. The reaction of ethylene oxide with aqueous ammonia first produces ethanolamine which reacts with a second and third equivalent of ethylene oxide to give DEA and triethanolamine.
  • DEA is a versatile chemical intermediate, principal derivatives include ethyleneimine an diethylenediamine. Dehydration of DEA with sulfuric acid gives morpholine. Amides derived from DEA and fatty acids, known as diethanolamides, are amphiphilic.

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