Ethanolamines are chemical compounds belonging to the group of amines and alcohols. This results in their unique property of being able to react with both groups: in the form of alcohol, ethanolamines are hygroscopic and can react to form esters, whereas in the form of amines, they are slightly alkaline and react with acids to form salts and soaps. These properties form the basis for most applications of Monoethanolamine.
Monoethanolamine is used in the production of detergents and cleaning agents, amongst others and it is obtained from the reaction of Ethylene Oxide and Ammonia. For industrial applications, MEA is used either in pure form (concentration >99%) or as an aqueous solution of varying concentrations. Freezing point of 99% is 10.5˚C and -13˚C for 85% Aqueous.
Triethanolamine (TEA) belongs to the category of the ethanolamines and is used primarily in the manufacture of fabric softeners. Freezing point of 99% is 21˚C and -15˚C for 85% Aqueous. It is often used as an intermediate product in the manufacture of tensides for liquid detergents and cleaning agents, as well as of dispersants and agrochemicals. In addition, it is frequently used in a mixture with Diethanolamine and/or water as a grinding aid in cement manufacturing. The product finds application as an emulsifier in many cosmetic and medical products. Other fields of applications include lubricants, paints and varnishes, textile finishing, and the printing and photographic industry.