Triethylamine, also known as N, N-diethylethanamine, is the chemical compound with the formula N(CH2CH3)3, commonly abbreviated Et3N. It tends to be a smooth, colorless liquid with heavy ammonia to an odor similar to fish. It is the simplest tri-substituted uniformly tertiary amine with typical properties of tertiary amines, including salification, oxidation, and no response to the Hing Myers test (Hisberg reaction) for triethylamine. Triethylamine is also abbreviated as TEA, yet this abbreviation must be carefully used to avoid confusion with triethanolamine or tetraethylammonium, for which TEA is also a common abbreviation.

Triethylamine may be a tertiary amine that’s ammonia within which each atom is substituted by ethyl radical. it’s colorless to yellow transparent liquid, with a powerful smell of ammonia, slightly fuming within the air. Flashpoint 20°F; Vapors irritate the eyes and mucous membranes; Less dense (6.1 lb/gal) than water. Triethylamine is prepared by the alkylation of ammonia with ethanol:

NH3 + 3 C2H5OH → N(C2H5)3 + 3 H2O

Triethylamine is used as a catalyst, corrosion inhibitor, and propellant in producing waterproofing agents. It is used as an additive to food. It also produces toxic nitrogen oxides when burned. It is soluble in water to the extent of 112.4 g/L at 20 °C; it’s also miscible in common organic solvents, like acetone, ethanol, and ethyl ether. Triethylamine is principally used as a base, catalyst, solvent, and stuff in organic synthesis and is usually abbreviated as Et3N, NEt3, or TEA.

Triethylamine is assessed as a soft base and its acceptor properties are discussed within the ECW model. It will be wont to prepare phosgene polycarbonate catalyst, polymerization inhibitor of tetrafluoroethylene, rubber vulcanization accelerator, a special solvent in paint remover, enamel anti-hardener, surfactant, antiseptic, surfactant, bactericides, natural process resins, dyes, fragrances, pharmaceuticals, high-energy fuels, and liquid rocket propellants, as a curing and hardening agent for polymers and for the desalination of seawater. Triethylamine is the active ingredient in Drosophila melanogaster anesthetizing drug FlyNap. It’s used to anesthetize mosquitoes in mosquito and vector control laboratories. This is done to preserve any viral material that may be present when identifying species.

Triethylamine is produced by ethanol and ammonia in the presence of hydrogen, in containing Cu-Ni-clay catalyst reactor under heating conditions (190 ± 2 ℃ and 165 ± 2 ℃) reaction. Liquid triethylamine can strike fabrics, rubber, and coatings in certain ways. This was found to be hypergolic in conjunction with nitric acid during the early 1940s and was considered a possible propellant to early hypergolic rocket engines. The reaction also produces ethylamine and diethylamine, the products have been condensed and then absorbed by ethanol spray to obtain crude triethylamine, pure triethylamine is obtained by final isolation, dehydration, and fractionation.


Information Sources:

  3. wikipedia