|Preferred IUPAC name
Ethanolamine (not recommended)
3D model (JSmol)
|Molar mass||61.08 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||JT Baker|
|R-phrases (outdated)||R20, R34, R36/37/38|
|S-phrases (outdated)||S26, S27, S36/37, S39, S45|
|Flash point||85 °C (185 °F; 358 K) (closed cup)|
|410 °C (770 °F; 683 K)|
|Explosive limits||5.5 - 17%|
|Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):|
LD50 (median dose)
|3320 mg/kg (rat, oral)
620 mg/kg (guinea pig, oral)
2050 mg/kg (rat, oral)
1475 mg/kg (mouse, oral)
1000 mg/kg (rabbit, oral)
700 mg/kg (mouse, oral)
1720-1970 mg/kg (rat, oral)
|US health exposure limits (NIOSH):|
|TWA 3 ppm (6 mg/m3)|
|TWA 3 ppm (8 mg/m3) ST 6 ppm (15 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, also called 2-aminoethanol or monoethanolamine (often abbreviated as ETA or MEA), is an organic chemical compound with the formula HOCH2CH2NH2. The molecule is both a primary amine and a primary alcohol (due to a hydroxyl group). Ethanolamine is a colorless, viscous liquid with an odor reminiscent to that of ammonia. Its derivatives are widespread in nature, e.g., lipids.
The ethanolamines comprise a group of amino alcohols. A class of antihistamines is identified as ethanolamines, which includes carbinoxamine, clemastine, dimenhydrinate, diphenhydramine, and doxylamine.
Monoethanolamine is produced by reacting ethylene oxide with aqueous ammonia; the reaction also produces diethanolamine and triethanolamine. The ratio of the products can be controlled by changing the stoichiometry of the reactants.
Note that this reaction is exothermic and that controls are needed to prevent a runaway reaction.
- 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, chemical intermediates.
Gas stream scrubbing
Like other amines, monoethanolamine is a weak base and this property is exploited in its use in gas scrubbing.
Aqueous solutions of MEA (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 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.
MEA scrubbing solutions can be recycled through a regeneration unit. When heated MEA, being rather weak base, will release dissolved H2S or CO2 gas resulting in a pure MEA solution.  For example, reacting ethanolamine with ammonia gives ethylenediamine, a precursor of the commonly used chelating agent, EDTA :
In pharmaceutical formulations, MEA is used primarily for buffering or preparation of emulsions. MEA can be used as pH regulator in cosmetics.
It is also 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).
- 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’.
- "Ethanolamine MSDS" (PDF). Acros Organics. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-15.
- Hall, H.K., J. Am. Chem. Soc., 1957, 79, 5441.
- R. E. Reitmeier; V. Sivertz; H. V. Tartar (1940). "Some Properties of Monoethanolamine and its Aqueous Solutions". Journal of the American Chemical Society. 62 (8): 1943–1944. doi:10.1021/ja01865a009.
- "NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards #0256". National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
- "Ethanolamine". Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
- Cough, Cold, and Allergy Preparation Toxicity at eMedicine
- Klaus Weissermel; Hans-Jürgen Arpe; Charlet R. Lindley; Stephen Hawkins (2003). "Chap. 7. Oxidation Products of Ethylene". Industrial Organic Chemistry. Wiley-VCH. pp. 159–161. ISBN 3-527-30578-5.
- Calignano, A; La Rana, G; Piomelli, D (2001). "Antinociceptive activity of the endogenous fatty acid amide, palmitylethanolamide". European Journal of Pharmacology. 419 (2–3): 191–8. doi:10.1016/S0014-2999(01)00988-8. PMID 11426841.
- http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11170[full citation needed]
- "Ethanolamine". Occupational Safety & Health Administration.
- Carrasco, F. (2009). "Ingredientes Cosméticos". Diccionario de Ingredientes Cosméticos 4ª Ed. www.imagenpersonal.net. p. 306. ISBN 978-84-613-4979-1.