What is the Difference Between Choline and Ethanolamine

The key difference between choline and ethanolamine is that choline is a viscous liquid and is important as an essential nutrient for humans and some animals, whereas ethanolamine is a colourless, deliquescent liquid that is mainly useful as a feedstock for other industrial productions.

Choline and ethanolamine are organic compounds. These compounds have very important applications in industries.

CONTENTS

1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Choline  
3. What is Ethanolamine
4. Choline vs Ethanolamine in Tabular Form
5. Summary – Choline vs Ethanolamine 

What is Choline?

Choline is an essential nutrient in humans and many other animals. It usually occurs as a cation that tends to form various salt compounds. In order to stay healthy, we need to get choline from food in the form of choline or choline phospholipids. Moreover, humans and some other animals can produce this nutrient by themselves, but the quantity is not enough.

Figure 01: The Biosynthesis of Choline in Plants

Usually, choline is not named as a vitamin but as a nutrient consisting of amino acids. Most animals require choline phospholipids in cell membranes or in the membranes of organelles. Also, this compound occurs in very low density lipoproteins.

Deficiency of choline or symptomatic choline deficiency is rare in humans, but it can cause nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and muscle damage. Excessive consumption of choline causes low blood pressure, sweating, diarrhoea, etc. The dietary sources of choline include organ meats, egg yolks, dairy products and vegetables.

Choline serves as a synthetic precursor for essential cell components and signalling molecules (e.g. phospholipids), and is important in acetylcholine synthesis. It also acts as a source for trimethylglycine.

What is Ethanolamine?

Ethanolamine is an organic compound having the chemical formula C2H7NO. It is also known as aminoethanol. This organic molecule is bifunctional. This means it has both a primary amine group and a primary alcohol. Moreover, this compound occurs as a colourless, viscous liquid substance having an odour similar to ammonia.

Figure 02: Structure of Ethanolamine

Industrially, ethanolamine is produced through the treatment of ethylene oxide with aqueous ammonia. This reaction can produce diethanolamine and triethanolamine as well. We can control the ratio between these compounds produced using the stoichiometry of the reactants.

When considering the applications of ethanolamine, it is useful as feedstock for the manufacture of detergents, emulsifiers, polishes, pharmaceuticals, corrosion inhibitors, chemical intermediates, etc. Further, monoethanolamines are useful in gas stream scrubbing. In the pharmaceutical industry, this compound is important for the buffering of emulsions.

What is the Difference Between Choline and Ethanolamine?

Choline and ethanolamine are organic compounds. The key difference between choline and ethanolamine is that choline is a viscous liquid and is important as an essential nutrient for humans and some animals, whereas ethanolamine is a colourless, deliquescent liquid that is mainly useful as a feedstock for other industrial productions. These compounds have very important applications. Choline serves as a synthetic precursor for essential cell components and signalling molecules (e.g. phospholipids); it is also important in acetylcholine synthesis, and as a source for trimethylglycine. Ethanolamine, on the other hand, is useful as feedstock for the manufacture of detergents, emulsifiers, polishes, pharmaceuticals, corrosion inhibitors, chemical intermediates, etc.

The following table summarizes the difference between choline and ethanolamine in tabular form for side by side comparison.

Summary – Choline vs Ethanolamine

Choline and ethanolamine are organic compounds. These compounds have very important applications in industries. The key difference between choline and ethanolamine is that choline is a viscous liquid and is important as an essential nutrient for humans and some animals, whereas ethanolamine is a colourless, deliquescent liquid that is mainly useful as a feedstock for other industrial productions.