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Colorless, hygroscopic liquid base that is used as a vapor phase corrosion inhibitor. Diethylaminoethanol (DEAE) is added to the water in boilers in steam humidification systems to minimize pipe corrosion. It is also used as an alkalizing agent in HVAC systems to neutralize carbonic acids. When DEAE is used in an open ventilation system, it can deposit on all available surfaces including works of art. DEAE produces an oily residue that can soften varnishes.

Synonyms and Related Terms

DEAE; 2-diethylaminoethanol; beta-diethylaminoethyl alcohol; 2-hydroxytriethyl amine; N,N-diethylethanolamine; diethyl ethanolamine

Chemical structure



  • Combustible. Flash point = 52 C.
  • Toxic by ingestion and skin absorption.
  • Contact causes irritation.
  • Millipore Sigma: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in water, ethanol, ether, benzene.

Composition (C2H5)2NCH2CH2OH
CAS 100-37-8
Melting Point -70 C
Density 0.88-0.89 g/ml
Molecular Weight mol. wt.=117.2
Refractive Index 1.4389
Boiling Point 161-163 C

Resources and Citations

  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry #3092
  • Robert Fournier, Illustrated Dictionary of Practical Pottery, Chilton Book Company, Radnor, PA, 1992
  • Pam Hatchfield, Pollutants in the Museum Environment, Archetype Press, London, 2002
  • Monona Rossol, The Artist's Complete Health and Safety Guide, Allworth Press, New York, 1994