Triethanolamine (TEA)

Triethanolamine (TEA)

Triethanolamine (TEA) is a viscous organic compound that belongs to the class of alkanolamines. It is characterized by its three hydroxyl groups, which make it a triol. TEA is a versatile chemical compound used in various industries, including cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, textiles, and metalworking.

The best definition of triethanolamine can be summarized as follows: Triethanolamine (TEA) is a colorless, viscous liquid compound with the chemical formula C6H15NO3. It is produced by the reaction of ethylene oxide with ammonia, followed by subsequent ethylation. TEA has the ability to act as both a weak base and a weak acid, making it an excellent pH adjuster and buffer in many applications. It is widely used as an emulsifier, surfactant, pH regulator, and corrosion inhibitor in numerous industrial and consumer products.



Triethanolamine (TEA) is a versatile compound with a wide range of applications in various industries. Some common uses of TEA include:

  1. Cosmetics and Personal Care Products: TEA is used in formulations of cosmetic and personal care products such as creams, lotions, shampoos, hair dyes, and soaps. It acts as an emulsifier, helping to blend oil and water-based ingredients, and as a pH adjuster to maintain the desired acidity or alkalinity of the product.
  2. Pharmaceuticals: TEA is utilized in the production of various pharmaceutical formulations, including ointments, creams, and gels. It serves as a solubilizer, aiding in the dissolution of poorly soluble drugs and enhancing their bioavailability.
  3. Metalworking Fluids: TEA is added to metalworking fluids, such as cutting oils and grinding compounds, as a corrosion inhibitor and pH regulator. It helps to prevent rust and corrosion on metal surfaces, improving the longevity and performance of metalworking equipment.
  4. Textile Industry: TEA is used in textile processing as a pH adjuster and as a dispersing agent for dyes and pigments. It helps to maintain the desired pH level during dyeing and printing processes, ensuring optimal color development and stability.
  5. Cleaning Products: TEA is incorporated into cleaning formulations, including detergents, degreasers, and household cleaners. It acts as a surfactant, aiding in the removal of dirt, grease, and stains, and also helps to stabilize the formulation.
  6. Cement and Concrete Additives: TEA is employed as a cement grinding aid to enhance the efficiency of the grinding process and improve the quality of cement. It also acts as a setting regulator and can increase the early strength of concrete.
  7. Gas Treatment: TEA is used in gas treatment applications, such as the removal of acidic gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S), from natural gas and refinery streams. It reacts with these acidic components to form stable salts, reducing their corrosive effects.

It’s important to note that TEA should be handled with caution and used in accordance with safety guidelines, as it can cause skin and eye irritation and may have potential health risks in certain concentrations or when combined with other chemicals.


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Triethanolamine (TEA)”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Safety Guidelines

When using triethanolamine (TEA), it is essential to observe certain precautions to ensure safe handling and minimize potential risks. Here are some precautions to consider:
  1. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Wear appropriate protective clothing, including gloves, safety goggles, and a lab coat or protective suit, to prevent skin contact and eye irritation. Follow safety guidelines provided by the manufacturer or regulatory authorities.
  2. Ventilation: Ensure adequate ventilation in the working area to prevent the buildup of vapors or fumes. Use fume hoods or work in well-ventilated spaces to minimize inhalation exposure.
  3. Storage: Store TEA in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area, away from incompatible substances. Follow any specific storage requirements provided by the manufacturer or regulatory guidelines.
  4. Avoid Contact with Skin and Eyes: In case of skin contact, wash the affected area thoroughly with water and soap. In case of eye contact, rinse the eyes with plenty of water for several minutes, while holding the eyelids open, and seek medical attention if irritation persists.
  5. Avoid Inhalation: Avoid breathing in TEA vapors or mists. If working with TEA in a confined space, use appropriate respiratory protection, such as a mask or respirator, to prevent inhalation of the chemical.
  6. Mixing and Handling: Follow recommended handling procedures and avoid mixing TEA with incompatible substances, such as strong acids or oxidizers, as it may lead to hazardous reactions. Always read and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
  7. Spill and Leak Response: In the event of a spill or leak, contain and clean up the material promptly using appropriate absorbent materials. Avoid spreading the spilled material and dispose of it properly according to local regulations.
  8. Disposal: Dispose of TEA and any contaminated materials in accordance with local regulations and guidelines. Do not pour TEA down the drain or discard it in regular waste streams without proper treatment or approval.
  9. Emergency Preparedness: Be familiar with emergency procedures and have access to safety equipment, such as eyewash stations and safety showers, in case of accidental exposure or contamination.
It is important to note that these precautions are general guidelines, and specific safety requirements may vary depending on the concentration, form, and intended use of TEA. Always consult the safety data sheet (SDS) and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for safe handling and usage.

Related Products