The physical and chemical effects of small additions of two different tertiary alkanolamines to portland cement were investigated. The strengths of standard test mortars moist cured for more than 1 day were found to be enhanced in some cases by addition of triisopropanolamine, but not by similar amounts of triethanolamine. Thermogravimetric and X-ray diffractometric data indicate that the increased mortar strengths resulted from an increased degree of hydration of the cement. Calorimetry and aqueous-phase analysis show that the higher alkanolamine, triisopropauo-lamine, remains in solution for a sufficient time to catalyze hydration of C4 AF after all of the free gypsum has been consumed to form calcium sulfoaluminate hydrates, In contrast, the lower alkanolamine, triethanolamine, is mostly adsorbed by the cement within the first hours of hydration. It is hypothesized that the catalytic mechanism involves facilitated transport of ferric ions through the aqueous phase in the form of ferric-alkanolamine complexes.