Triethanolamine

Published: | Updated: January 22, 2020

Definition - What does Triethanolamine mean?

Triethanolamine is an organic molecular compound with the chemical formula C6H15NO3. More specifically, it is an amine. Triethanolamine is produced by reacting ammonia and ethylene oxide. Triethanolamine can be used to prevent corrosion in some instances.

Corrosionpedia explains Triethanolamine

Triethanolamine is used in a variety of applications, including:

  • As an emulsifier
  • To adjust pH levels and neutralize acids
  • Combined with other flux ingredients to make braze or solder flux
  • To manufacture cosmetics (mascara, hair dyes, foundations and many more)
  • To manufacture sunscreen

Triethanolamine can present health hazards for humans and the environment. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved it for certain types of uses, including use on skin. However, long-term use is not recommended by most health experts. It is considered a respiratory toxin as well. Long-term exposure will cause bodily irritation.

Some properties of triethanolamine:

  • Molecular weight: 149.19 g/mol
  • Melting temperature: 70.9°F (21.6°C)
  • Boiling temperature: 635.7°F (335.3°C)
  • Specific gravity: 1.13 at 68°F (20°C)
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