Triethylamine (TEA)

Triethylamine is the chemical compound with the formula N(CH2CH3)3, commonly abbreviated Et3N. It is also abbreviated TEA, yet this abbreviation must be used carefully to avoid confusion with triethanolamine or tetraethylammonium, for which TEA is also a common abbreviation.

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  • It is a colourless volatile liquid with a strong fishy odor reminiscent of ammonia.
  • it is commonly used as a base during the preparation of esters and amides from acyl chlorides.
  • Triethylamine is used in mosquito and vector control labs to anesthetize mosquitoes.
  • Triethylamine vapor causes eye irritation, corneal swelling, and halo vision.
  • Triethylamine is mainly used in the production of quaternary ammonium compounds for textile auxiliaries and quaternary ammonium salts of dyes.
  • It is also a catalyst and acid neutralizer for condensation reactions and is useful as an intermediate for manufacturing medicines, pesticides and other chemicals.


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