A new organic compound N,N'-bis(1-phenylethanol)ethylenediamine was synthesized and its inhibition efficiency was studied with electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and potentiodynamic measurement, as well as solution assay analysis. The influences of temperature and inhibitor concentration were investigated for explaining the inhibition mechanism. It was shown that both physical and chemical type adsorptive interactions occur via pi-bonding electrons, -NH and -OH groups. Besides, SEM, UV-visible and FTIR analyses were carried out to investigate the structure of protective layer formed on the steel surface. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.