Ethanolamines being manufactured through a liquid phase reaction of ethylene oxide and 28 % ammonia water, the effects of reaction temperature, feed mole ratio （defined as the ratio of ammonia to ethylene oxide）, water concentration, and the amines in the feed on the distribution of each ethanolamine product (mono-, di-, and triethanolamine) were investigated with batch and continuous tubular reactor systems.
Material balances indicate that the product distribution does not depend on the absolute values of rate constants but on the ratios among them. Themperature has negligible effect on the product distribution over the range of temperatures between 50 ℃ and 90 ℃. The feed ratio is a predominant factor to product distribution, such that as the ammonia ratio increases, the fraction of monoethanolamine increases and that of triethanolamine decreases, while that of diethanolamine increases slightly and then decreases. Water in the reaction mixture plays a role of catalyst and as water concentration increases, the formation of monoethanolamine is promoted. Mono- and diethanolamine may be added or recycled into feed in order to control the product distribution. However there are limitations in their ammounts for a given feed mole ratio and the product distribution can be estimated reasonably well by using the ratios among the rate constants as obtained when the feed does not contain ethanolamines.