Triethanolamine is an oily liquid with a mild ammonia odor. Denser than water. Freezing point is 71°F. (USCG, 1999)Triethanolamine is a tertiary amino compound that is ammonia in which each of the hydrogens is substituted by a 2-hydroxyethyl group. It has a role as a buffer and a surfactant. It is a tertiary amino compound, a triol and an amino alcohol. It derives from a triethylamine. It is a conjugate base of a triethanolammonium.