Difference Between Amines and Amides

And all this from elements found in nature such as amines and amides, but according to their particular properties they have been given the most varied uses in today’s society.

What are Amines?

It is known by the name of amines to the organic chemical compounds that arise from the derivation of ammonia, which is a gas that contains three hydrogen atoms and one nitrogen atom, and that when substituting one or more of the hydrogen molecules by radicals, amines are originated.

Among the types of amines, we have according to the element by which the hydrogen is substituted, that in case of being an alcoholic radical, we will obtain the aliphatic amines. On the other hand, if the hydrogen molecule is replaced by an aromatic radical, an aromatic amine will result.

Another way to classify amines is according to the number of hydrogen atoms that are replaced or substituted, different types of amines are obtained: primary, secondary or tertiary.

  • Primary amines: among which are ethylamine, aniline…
  • Secondary amines: to name a few we have dimethylamine and ethylmethylamine.
  • Tertiary amines: compounds such as trimethylamine or dimethylbenzylamine can be found.

Among the physical properties of amines we have that they are colorless and that they tend to stain easily. Primary amines have an odor very similar to that of ammonia, while secondary and tertiary amines, to the extent that they have a greater number of carbon atoms in their composition, have an odor similar to that of fish.

Another characteristic of amines is that they are soluble substances to the extent that they have a greater number of hydrogen atoms, therefore primary amines dissolve more easily in water than tertiary ones.

At an industrial level, amines are a very important and essential compound for the production of some mass consumption products such as medicines (morphine, amphetamine, codeine), cleaning products (disinfectant, soap), cosmetics (dyes). Also, they are found naturally in plants and meats, which when degraded, the microorganisms break down the proteins, they become amines, which is why an unpleasant odor is produced.

What are Amides?

Amides are organic chemical compounds that are derived from carboxylic acids and that present in their structure the amino group NH² that replaces the OH group.

To name an amide, the suffix “oic” must be replaced by the ending “amide”. It is worth noting that amides have priority in a chemical composition, so it acts as a substituent against amines, alcohols, ketones, aldehydes, among others. But if it is integrated into a cycle, the amide is added as a suffix at the end of it.

Among the characteristics of the amides, it is found that most of them are in the solid state if they are at room temperature; on the other hand, the boiling point occurs when subjected to high heat, even more than that required by the corresponding acids. Similarly, they work easily as a solvent and are characterized by having fairly weak bases.

Amides are common in the natural environment as they are found in urea and in substances such as amino acids, proteins, DNA, RNA, vitamins and hormones, all of which are essential elements for life as we know it.

According to the properties of the amide, it can have the most diverse uses in everyday life and it is used to produce foam or thicken certain chemical compounds, it also serves as an insect repellent, antiperspirant and neutralizer. It is used in the manufacture of synthetic fiber and in the production of paper; as well as it works as a solvent for substances such as varnish, paint, resin and rubber, to name a few. His contribution in the field of medicine and pharmaceuticals allows the production of a large part of the most common medicines in today’s society.

Difference Between Amines and Amides

  • Amines and amides are organic chemical compounds that derive the former from ammonia and the latter from carboxylic acids.
  • Amides function as a solvent, while amines are soluble in water based on the amount of hydrogen in their molecules.
  • Amines appear by substituting radicals for hydrogen atoms in ammonia. For their part, amides arise from the substitution of hydroxyls by an amine.
  • In industry, the greatest use given to amines is as detergents or dyes, with a strong odor. Unlike amides, whose application is generally given in the pharmaceutical or plastic field industries.

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