Diethanolamine or DEA is a colorless deliquescent crystalline or liquid amino alcohol with the chemical formula (HOCH2CH2)2NH, with uses similar to ethanolamine. DEA is an organic compound, which is white solid at room temperature. The compound is attained when ammonia chemically reacts with ethylene oxide. As a result of this reaction, monoethanolamine and triethanolamine are also formed. Diethanolamine belongs to alcohol and amine chemical groups. In the alcohol form, diethanolamine is hygroscopic in nature which reacts to form esters, whereas in the amine form, the compound is alkaline in nature and forms soap and salt upon reaction with acids. This unique characteristic of diethanolamine allows its usage in a wide range of applications. DEA in an aqueous solution is extensively used as a gas scrubbing agent.
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It is used to manufacture personal care products, metal works, and textiles. Diethanolamine is used as a raw material in various fatty acid amides that are used as an ingredient in a wide range of personal care products. It is also used in the textile industry as a scoring agent for wool and silk owing to its low alkalinity. Low hygroscopic property makes DEA an ideal compound to manufacture printing pastes. Diethanolamine is used to manufacture corrosion inhibitors, and water soluble lubricants. Diethanolamine is also used as a catalyst to provide favorable conditions for the manufacturing of rigid polyurethane foams.
Continuous growing demand of glyphosate from the agricultural industry owing to its unique characteristics of removing the weeds and unnecessary grasses which pose a threat to the commercial grown crops is driving the growth of DEA market. Demand for DEA in aqueous form is used as a scrubbing agent is propelling the DEA market. Expansion of refineries in the oil and gas sector in emerging economies where DEA is used to treat the toxic hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide is also propelling the DEA market.
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In terms of geography, the DEA market is segmented into North America, South America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Middle East & Africa. The DEA market in North America is a rapidly growing. Asia Pacific is also expanding at a considerable pace, after North America. China is the largest manufacturer and consumer of DEA in Asia Pacific.
Key players operating in the global diethanolamine market include BASF, Dow Chemical Company, Huntsman Corporation, Akzo Nobel N.V., Nippon Shokubai, KH Chemicals B.V., HELM AG, Jiangsu Yinyan, and Maoming Dazhongmao Petrochemical Co Limited.