Diethanolamine (DEA, DEOA)

Diethanolamine (DEA or DEOA) is a colorless, viscous liquid organic chemical compound that is both a secondary amine and a dialcohol. According to the International Agency for Research, the compound is a suspected carcinogen to humans. The hydrophilic liquid is used as a surfactant as well as a corrosion inhibitor. DEA is also used to remove hydrogen sulfide from natural gas.

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Diethanolamine is a colorless liquid organic compound that is a white solid at room temperature. Its chemical formula is C4H11NO2. Its CAS # is 111-42-2.

Diethanolamine is widely used to prepare diethanolamides and diethanolamine salts of long-chain fatty acids that are formulated into soaps and surfactants used in liquid laundry and dishwashing detergents, cosmetics, shampoos, and hair conditioners. Diethanolamine is also extensively used in textile processing, as well as industrial gas purification to remove acid gases. It is an anticorrosion agent in metalworking fluids, and in preparations of agricultural chemicals.

DEA is an oily, colorless liquid or solid white crystals and has a slight rotten fish or ammonia odor. It is very soluble in water and ethanol, and slightly soluble in ethyl ether and benzene.

Like all Ethanolamines, Diethanolamine is produced industrially exclusively by the reaction of ethylene oxide with excess ammonia.


Diethanolamine is a liquid packed in bulk (rail, tanktruck, Isotank), totes (IBC tanks), and drums. Special packaging is available on request.


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Ben Sawicki

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