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IUPAC name Triethylamine
Other names N,N-diethylethanamine
CAS number 121-44-8
Molecular formula C6H15N
Molar mass 101.1 g/mol
Density 0.726 g/cm3
Melting point

-114.7 °C

Boiling point

89.7 °C

Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Infobox disclaimer and references

Triethylamine is the chemical compound with the formula N(CH2CH3)3, commonly abbreviated Et3N. It is a commonly encountered in organic synthesis probably because it is the simplest symmetrically trisubstituted amine, i.e. a tertiary amine, that is liquid at room temperature. It possesses a strong fishy odor reminiscent of ammonia. Diisopropylethylamine (Hünig’s base, CAS # 7087-68-5) is a widely used relative of triethylamine. Triethylamine is also the smell of the hawthorn plant, and semen, among others [1]

Triethylamine is commonly employed in organic synthesis as a base, most often in the preparation of esters and amides from acyl chlorides.[2] Such reactions lead to the production of hydrogen chloride which combines with triethylamine to form the salt triethylamine hydrochloride, commonly called triethylammonium chloride. This reaction removes the hydrogen chloride from the reaction mixture, which is required for these reactions to proceed to completion (R, R' = alkyl, aryl):

R2NH + R'C(O)Cl + Et3N → R'C(O)NR2 + Et3NH+Cl-

Like other tertiary amines, it catalyzes the formation of urethane foams and epoxy resins. It is also useful in dehydrohalogenation reactions and Swern oxidations.

Triethylamine is readily alkylated to give the corresponding quaternary ammonium salt:

RI + Et3N → Et3NR+I-


  1. ^ The Book of General Ignorance, Lloyd, John, Faber and Faber Limited, 2006, p236
  2. ^ Sorgi, K. L. "Triethylamine" in Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis, 2001 John Wiley & Sons, New York. DOI: 10.1002/047084289X.rt217
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Triethylamine". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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