Alkanolamines are chemical compounds that contain both hydroxyl (-OH) and amino (-NH2, -NHR, and -NR2) functional groups on an alkane backbone. The term alkanolamine is a broad class term that is sometimes used as a subclassification.[1]


Chemical structure of ethanolamine, a simple amino alcohol.

2-Aminoalcohols are an important class of organic compounds that contain both an amine and an alcohol functional groups. They are generated often by the reaction of amines with epoxides. Such compounds find a variety of industrial applications. Simple alkanolamines are used as solvents, synthetic intermediates, and high-boiling bases.[2]

Common amino alcohols

Beta blockers

A subclass of beta blockers is often called alkanolamine beta blockers. Typical examples are:

Natural products

Most proteins and peptides contain both alcohols and amino groups. Two amino acids are alkanolamines, formally speaking: serine and hydroxyproline.

2-Amino alcohols from amino acids

In principle, each amino acid can be hydrogenated to the corresponding 2-aminoalcohol. Examples include prolinol (from proline) and valinol (from valine).

See also


  1. Smith, Michael B.; March, Jerry (2007), Advanced Organic Chemistry: Reactions, Mechanisms, and Structure (6th ed.), New York: Wiley-Interscience, ISBN 0-471-72091-7
  2. Matthias Frauenkron, Johann-Peter Melder, Günther Ruider, Roland Rossbacher, Hartmut Höke "Ethanolamines and Propanolamines" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry 2002, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi:10.1002/14356007.a10_001

External links

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