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Technology Profile: Ethanolamines Production from Ethylene Oxide and Ammonia

By Intratec Solutions |

This column is based on “Ethanolamines from Ethylene Oxide and Ammonia – Cost Analysis,” a report published by Intratec. It can be found at the following URL: www.intratec.us/analysis/monoethanolamine-production-cost. Ethanolamines are a family of compounds that are used as feedstocks for emulsifiers, detergents, corrosion inhibitors and chemical intermediates, as well as used for scrubbing carbon dioxide from exhaust gas. The family includes monoethanolamine (MEA), diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA). As the names suggest, they can be thought as derivatives of ammonia in which the radical ∙CH2–CH2–OH replaces one, two or three, respectively, of the hydrogen atoms in the base ammonia molecule. Ethanolamines combine interesting chemical properties exhibited by both alcohols and amines. Under acidic conditions, they may either form acids, due to the presence of a basic amine group, or esters, because of the hydroxyl group. MEA and DEA always yield salts if they are in the presence of organic acids. Figure 1. The production of ethanolamines from ethylene oxide and ammonia is shown here[/caption] The process The following paragraphs describe a process for ethanolamines production from ethylene oxide and ammonia.…
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