Amines, Amino Acids, Polymers

  • Created by: jackread
  • Created on: 21-01-14 21:32

Chemistry Unit 4


Amines can be thought of as derivatives of ammonia.

It is where one or more of the hydrogen atoms have been replaced by alkyl or aryl groups.

File:Primary-amine-2D-general.svgPrimary amine

File:Secondary-amine-2D-general.svgSecondary amine amine


Naming amines suffix –amine OR prefix amino-

Primary - general formula RNH2

CH3-NH2 is methylamine

Benzene amine is amino benzene

Secondary – RR’NH

(CH3)2NH is dimethylamine

Tertiary – RR’R’’N

(C2H5)3N is trimethylamine

And as always different substituents are written in alphabetical order



Amines have a lone pair of electrons.

This lone pair may be used to form a bond with a H+ ion, and we say the amine is acting as a base.

The lone pair may also be used to form a bond with an electron-deficient atom, and we say the amine is acting as a nucleophile.

Amines as a base

Amines can accept a proton à they are B.L. bases.

The lone pair on the nitrogen atom allows the nitrogen atom to act as a proton acceptor.

All amines react with strong acids to form alkylammonium salts.

Reactions with acids

Amines react with acids in the same way as ammonia:

            NH3 + HCl à NH4Cl

            2NH3 + H2SO4 à (NH4)2SO4




Primary amines:    R1-NH2 + HCl à R1-NH3Cl

                                    2R1-NH2 + H2SO4 à (R1-NH3)2SO4

Secondary amines: R1R2-NH + HCl à R1R2-NH2Cl

                                    2R1R2-NH + H2SO4 à (R1R2-NH2)2SO4

Tertiary amines:    R1R2R3-N + HCl à R1R2R3-NHCl

                                    2R1R2R3-N + H2SO4 à (R1R2R3-NH)2SO4


Comparison of base strengths

The basicity of an amine is dependent on the availability of the lone pair of electrons on the nitrogen atom. The more available the lone pair, the stronger the base. The availability of the lone pair in turn depends on how much electron density is on the nitrogen atom, and this depends on the adjacent atoms.

Alkyl groups release electrons away from the alkyl group and towards the nitrogen atom. (Inductive effect)

The inductive effect of the alkyl group increases the electron density on the nitrogen atom. Primary alkylamines are stronger bases than ammonia.

Secondary alkylamines have 2 inductive effects and are therefore stronger bases than primary alkylamines.

Tertiary alkylamines are not stronger bases than secondary alkylamines, as they are less soluble in water.

Aryl groups withdraw electrons from the nitrogen, because the lone pair of


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