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Hexamine - C6H12N4

What is Hexamine?

C6H12N4 is a heterocyclic organic compound with the chemical name Hexamine. It is also called Methenamine, Hexamethylenetetramine or Urotropin.

It acts as an anti-infective agent which is most commonly used to treat urinary tract infections. Its anti-infective action is derived from the slow release of formaldehyde (CH2O) by hydrolysis at acidic pH of 0.2 molars. Methenamine is an odourless colourless lustrous crystal or white crystalline powder which is hygroscopic.

Table of Contents

Properties of Hexamine – C6H12N4

C6H12N4 Hexamine
Molecular weight of C6H12N4 140.186 g/mol
Density of Hexamine 1.33 g/cm3
Melting point of Hexamine 280 °C
Boiling point of Hexamine Sublimes

Hexamine Structure – C6H12N4

Hexamine structure

A structure representing Hexamine

Hexamine Uses (C6H12N4)

  • Hexamine is used in the production of liquid or powdery preparations of phenolic resins.
  • Used as binders in clutch and brake linings.
  • Used in the form of spray and cream to treat concomitant odour and excessive sweating.
  • Used in Grocott’s methenamine silver stain.
  • Used as a solid fuel.
  • Used as a food preservative.
  • Used as a primary ingredient in making RDX.
  • Used to prevent vulcanized rubber.
  • Used as a corrosion inhibitor for steel.

Health Hazards 

Some symptoms include irritation in the eyes, mucous membranes, upper respiratory tract, and skin. It can also cause kidney irritation and skin rash. Inhaling this compound causes shortness of breath and coughing. When it comes in contact with the skin it causes redness, rashes, burns, and pain. When comes in contact with the eyes causes redness, blurred vision, and pain. Swallowing this compound results in urinary tract irritation, and digestive disturbances.

Hexamethylenetetramine can be harmful by ingestion, skin absorption, and inhalation. It is an irritation in the upper respiratory tract, eyes, skin, and mucous membranes.


Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

List 3 different uses of hexamine

Hexamine is used in adhesives. It is also used as a sealing compound and as a cross-linking agent during the vulcanization of rubber.

Comment on the appearance and odour of hexamine

Under ambient conditions, hexamine is a white crystalline solid which emanates a fishy, ammonia-like smell.

List 3 named reactions that use hexamine as a chemical reagent

The Duff reaction, the Delepine reaction, and the Sommelet reaction involve the use of hexamine as a chemical reagent.

What is hexamine made from?

Hexamine, also called hexamethylenetetramine or methenamine (INN), is a heterocyclic organic compound that can be prepared by the reaction of formaldehyde and ammonia. It is crystalline and white in appearance.

Is hexamine toxic?

Hexamine is prepared by the reaction of formaldehyde and ammonia. In an acidic environment, hexamine is converted to toxic formaldehyde, and the main hazard for toxicity is ingestion.

Learn more about the Structure, physical and chemical properties of C6H12N4 from the experts at BYJU’S.

Test your knowledge on Hexamine

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