Acetamide - C2H5NO

What is Acetamide?

C2H5NO is an inorganic compound with chemical name Acetamide. It is also called Acetic acid amide, or Ethanamide or Acetimidic acid. It is derived from acetic acid and is the simplest amide. It is widely used as a plasticizer.

Ethanamide is obtained as a hygroscopic solid which is colorless and has a mousy odor. It is readily soluble in water, chloroform, hot benzene, glycerol and slightly soluble in ether. It is a member of the class of acetamides which results from the formal condensation of acetic acid (CH3COOH) with ammonia (NH3). It is naturally found in red beetroot.

Properties of Acetamide – C2H5NO



Molecular weight/molar mass of C2H5NO

59.068 g/mol

Density of Acetamide

1.159 g/cm3

Boiling Point of Acetamide

221.2 °C

Melting Point of Acetamide

79 to 81 °C

Acetamide structure – C2H5NO

Acetamide structure

C2H5NO Uses (Acetamide)

  • Acetamide is used as a solvent for many inorganic and organic compounds.
  • Used in explosives.
  • Used as a plasticizer.
  • Used as a hygroscopic agent.
  • Used to manufacture methylamine.
  • Used as a stabilizer.
  • Used as a penetrating agent.
  • Used as a fire suppressant.

Production of Acetamide

In the laboratories it can be produced by dehydration of ammonium acetate. The reaction is as follows:

[NH4][CH3CO2] → CH3C(O)NH2 + H2O

It can also be obtained through ammonolysis of acetylacetone with the under conditions that are used in reductive amination.

Alternatively it can be produced from anhydrous acetic acid (CH3COOH), dried hydrogen chloride gas, and acetonitrile in an ice bath along with a reagent acetyl chloride.

At industrial levels it can be obtained by dehydrating ammonium acetate or by hydrolyzing acetonitrile.

CH3CN + H2O → CH3C(O)NH2

Health hazards

It is combustible and generates toxic gas or fumes when heated. Exposure to Acetic acid amide may cause irritation to the mucous membranes, skin and eyes. It can also cause corneal damage.

Learn more about the Structure, physical and chemical properties of C2H5NO from the experts at BYJU’S.

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