NCERT Class 12 Chemistry Amines

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Amines constitute an important class of organic compounds derived by replacing one or more hydrogen atoms of ammonia molecule by alkyl/aryl group(s). In nature, they occur among proteins, vitamins, alkaloids and hormones. Synthetic examples include polymers, dyestuffs and drugs. Two biologically active compounds, namely adrenaline and ephedrine, both containing secondary amino group, are used to increase blood pressure. Novocain, a synthetic amino compound, is used as an anaesthetic in dentistry. Benadryl, a well known antihistaminic drug also contains tertiary amino group. Quaternary ammonium salts are used as surfactants. Diazonium salts are intermediates in the preparation of a variety of aromatic compounds including dyes. In this Unit, you will learn about amines and diazonium salts.

Amines can be considered as derivatives of ammonia, obtained by replacement of one, two or all the three hydrogen atoms by alkyl and/or aryl groups.

Structure of Amines

Like ammonia, nitrogen atom of amines is trivalent and carries an unshared pair of electrons. Nitrogen orbitals in amines are therefore, sp3 hybridised and the geometry of amines is pyramidal. Each of the three sp3 hybridised orbitals of nitrogen overlap with orbitals of hydrogen or carbon depending upon the composition of the amines. The fourth orbital of nitrogen in all amines contains an unshared pair of electrons. Due to the presence of unshared pair of electrons, the angle C–N–E, (where E is C or H) is less than 109.5°;


Amines are classified as primary (1o), secondary (2o) and tertiary (3o) depending upon the number of hydrogen atoms replaced by alkyl or aryl groups in ammonia molecule. If one hydrogen atom of ammonia is replaced by R or Ar , we get RNH2 or ArNH2, a primary amine (1o). If two hydrogen atoms of ammonia or one hydrogen atom of R-NH2 are replaced by another alkyl/aryl(R’) group, what would you get? You get R-NHR’, secondary amine. The second alkyl/aryl group may be same or different. Replacement of another hydrogen atom by alkyl/aryl group leads to the formation of tertiary amine. Amines are said to be ‘simple’ when all the alkyl or aryl groups are the same, and ‘mixed’ when they are different.


In common system, an aliphatic amine is named by prefixing alkyl group to amine, i.e., alkylamine as one word (e.g., methylamine). In secondary and tertiary amines, when two or more groups are the same, the prefix di or tri is appended before the name of alkyl group. In IUPAC system, amines are named as alkanamines, derived by replacement of ‘e’ of alkane by the word amine. For example, CH3NH2 is named as methanamine. In case, more than one amino group is present at different positions in the parent chain, their positions are specified by giving numbers to the carbon atoms bearing –NH2 groups and suitable prefix such as di, tri, etc. is attached to the amine. The letter ‘e’ of the suffix of the hydrocarbon part is retained. For example, H2N–CH2–CH2–NH2 is named as ethane-1, 2-diamine.


3.1 Write IUPAC names of the following compounds and classify them into primary, secondary and tertiary amines.
(i) (CH3)2CHNH2 (ii) CH3(CH2)2NH2 (iii) CH3NHCH(CH3)2
(iv) (CH3)3CNH2 (v) C6H5NHCH3 (vi) (CH3CH2)2NCH3
(vii) m–BrC6H4NH2
13.2 Give one chemical test to distinguish between the following pairs of compounds.
(i) Methylamine and dimethylamine (ii) Secondary and tertiary amines
(iii) Ethylamine and aniline (iv) Aniline and benzylamine
(v) Aniline and N-methylaniline.
13.3 Account for the following:
(i) pKb of aniline is more than that of methylamine.
(ii) Ethylamine is soluble in water whereas aniline is not.
(iii) Methylamine in water reacts with ferric chloride to precipitate hydrated ferric oxide.
(iv) Although amino group is o– and p– directing in aromatic electrophilic substitution reactions, aniline on nitration gives a substantial amount of m-nitroaniline.
(v) Aniline does not undergo Friedel-Crafts reaction.
(vi) Diazonium salts of aromatic amines are more stable than those of aliphatic amines.

13.5 How will you convert:
(i) Ethanoic acid into methanamine
(ii) Hexanenitrile into 1-aminopentane
(iii) Methanol to ethanoic acid
(iv) Ethanamine into methanamine
(v) Ethanoic acid into propanoic acid
(vi) Methanamine into ethanamine
(vii) Nitromethane into dimethylamine
(viii) Propanoic acid into ethanoic acid?
13.6 Describe a method for the identification of primary, secondary and tertiary amines. Also write chemical equations of the reactions involved.
13.7 Write short notes on the following:
(i) Carbylamine reaction (ii) Diazotisation
(iii) Hofmann’s bromamide reaction (iv) Coupling reaction
(v) Ammonolysis (vi) Acetylation
(vii) Gabriel phthalimide synthesis.
13.8 Accomplish the following conversions:
(i) Nitrobenzene to benzoic acid
(ii) Benzene to m-bromophenol
(iii) Benzoic acid to aniline
(iv) Aniline to 2,4,6-tribromofluorobenzene

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