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Structure and properties of an organic compound derived from ammonia.

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An amine is an organic compound that can be considered to be a derivative of ammonia (NH3). Amines' general structures can be abbreviated as R-NH2. Amines can be primary, secondary, or tertiary:

Primary, secondary, and tertiary amines

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What makes an amine primary, secondary, or tertiary?

The following compounds are amines:

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What is the name of each amine? Is the amine primary, secondary, or tertiary?

  • What alkyl group is the nitrogen attached to? Is there more than one alkyl group?
  • What suffix do you use for amines?


Amines are weak bases because of the lone pair of electrons on the nitrogen atom. How does this lone pair interact with water? (Hint: use the following reaction)

Reaction where an amine acts as a base

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Amines are capable of hydrogen bonding. How is the water solubility affected by the length of the carbon chain?

Amines usually have pretty pungent or noxious odors (think of ammonia). When are amines formed biologically? How are amines used industrially?

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