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Diethanolamine

Diethanolamine

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Diethanolamine, often abbreviated as DEA or DEOA, is an organic compound with the formula HN(CH2CH2OH)2. Pure diethanolamine is a white solid at room temperature, but its tendency to absorb water and to supercool[2] mean it is often encountered as a colorless, viscous liquid. Diethanolamine 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 secondary amine and hydroxyl groups, DEA is soluble in water. Amides prepared from DEA are often also hydrophilic. Recently, the chemical has been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as "possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B)".

DEA is used as a surfactant and a corrosion inhibitor. It is used to remove hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide from natural gas.

In oil refineries, a DEA in water solution is commonly used to remove hydrogen sulfide from sour gas. It has an advantage over a similar amine ethanolamine in that a higher concentration may be used for the same corrosion potential. This allows refiners to scrub hydrogen sulfide at a lower circulating amine rate with less overall energy usage.

DEA is a chemical feedstock used in the production of morpholine.

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