|Preferred IUPAC name
3D model (JSmol)
CompTox Dashboard (EPA)
|Molar mass||61.084 g·mol−1|
|Appearance||Viscous colourless liquid|
|Odor||Unpleasant ammonia-like odour|
|Melting point||10.3 °C (50.5 °F; 283.4 K)|
|Boiling point||170 °C (338 °F; 443 K)|
|Vapor pressure||64 Pa (20 °C)|
Refractive index (nD)
|1.4539 (20 °C)|
|Safety data sheet||Sigma|
|GHS Signal word||Danger|
|H302, H312, H332, H314, H335, H412|
|P261, P273, P305+351+338, P303+361+353|
|NFPA 704 (fire diamond)|
|Flash point||85 °C (185 °F; 358 K) (closed cup)|
|410 °C (770 °F; 683 K)|
|Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):|
LD50 (median dose)
|NIOSH (US health exposure limits):|
|TWA: 3 ppm (6 mg/m3)|
IDLH (Immediate danger)
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
|what is ?)(|
Ethanolamine (2-aminoethanol, monoethanolamine, ETA, or MEA) is an organic chemical compound with the formula HOCH2CH2NH2 or C2H7NO. The molecule is bifunctional, containing both a primary amine and a primary alcohol. Ethanolamine is a colorless, viscous liquid with an odor reminiscent of ammonia. ETA molecules are a component in the formation of cellular membranes and are thus a molecular building block for life. It was thought to exist only on Earth and on certain asteroids, but in 2021 evidence was found that ETA molecules exist in interstellar space.
Derivatives of ethanolamine are widespread in nature; e.g., lipids, as precursor of a variety of N-acylethanolamines (NAEs), that modulate several animal and plant physiological processes such as seed germination, plant–pathogen interactions, chloroplast development and flowering, as well as precursor, combined with arachidonic acid (C20H32O2; 20:4, ω-6), to form the endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA: C22H37NO2; 20:4, ω-6).
The ethanolamines comprise a group of amino alcohols. A class of antihistamines is identified as ethanolamines, which includes carbinoxamine, clemastine, dimenhydrinate, Chlorphenoxamine, diphenhydramine and doxylamine.
Monoethanolamine is produced by treating ethylene oxide with aqueous ammonia; the reaction also produces diethanolamine and triethanolamine. The ratio of the products can be controlled by the stoichiometry of the reactants.
- HOCH2CH(CO2H)NH2 → HOCH2CH2NH2 + CO2
Ethanolamine is the second-most-abundant head group for phospholipids, substances found in biological membranes (particularly those of prokaryotes); e.g., phosphatidylethanolamine. It is also used in messenger molecules such as palmitoylethanolamide, which has an effect on CB1 receptors.
Ethanolamine is commonly called monoethanolamine or MEA in order to be distinguished from diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA). It is used as feedstock in the production of detergents, emulsifiers, polishes, pharmaceuticals, corrosion inhibitors, and chemical intermediates.
Gas stream scrubbing
Monoethanolamines can scrub combusted-coal, combusted-methane and combusted-biogas flue emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) very efficiently. Monoethanolamine scrubbing reduces climate change and can make historical coal and biogas industry more modern, healthier and more marketable. Legally, it is especially relevant to the Paris Agreement. MEA carbon dioxide scrubbing is also used to regenerate the air on submarines.
Solutions of MEA in water are used as a gas stream scrubbing liquid in amine treaters. For example, aqueous MEA is used to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) from various gas streams; e.g., flue gas and sour natural gas. The MEA ionizes dissolved acidic compounds, making them polar and considerably more soluble.
In pharmaceutical formulations, MEA is used primarily for buffering or preparation of emulsions. MEA can be used as pH regulator in cosmetics.
It is an injectable sclerosant as a treatment option of symptomatic hemorrhoids. 2–5 ml of ethanolamine oleate can be injected into the mucosa just above the hemorrhoids to cause ulceration and mucosal fixation thus preventing hemorrhoids from descending out of the anal canal.
Ethanolamine is often used for alkalinization of water in steam cycles of power plants, including nuclear power plants with pressurized water reactors. This alkalinization is performed to control corrosion of metal components. ETA (or sometimes a similar organic amine; e.g., morpholine) is selected because it does not accumulate in steam generators (boilers) and crevices due to its volatility, but rather distributes relatively uniformly throughout the entire steam cycle. In such application, ETA is a key ingredient of so-called "all-volatile treatment" of water (AVT).
Upon reaction with carbon dioxide, 2 equivalents of ethanolamine react through the intermediacy of carbonic acid to form a carbamate salt, which when heated reforms ethanolamine and carbon dioxide.
- Nomenclature of Organic Chemistry : IUPAC Recommendations and Preferred Names 2013 (Blue Book). Cambridge: The Royal Society of Chemistry. 2014. pp. 649, 717. doi:10.1039/9781849733069-FP001. ISBN 978-0-85404-182-4.
For example, the name ‘ethanolamine’, which is still widely used, is badly constructed because of the presence of two suffixes; it is not an alternative to the preferred IUPAC name, ‘2-aminoethan-1-ol’.
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- Cough, Cold, and Allergy Preparation Toxicity at eMedicine
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- Emergency and Continuous Exposure Guidance Levels for Selected Submarine Contaminants. 2007. doi:10.17226/11170. ISBN 978-0-309-09225-8.
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- F. Carrasco (2009). "Ingredientes Cosméticos". Diccionario de Ingredientes Cosméticos 4ª Ed. www.imagenpersonal.net. p. 306. ISBN 978-84-613-4979-1.
- Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards
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