Properties and Uses of Amines

Amines are organic compounds and functional groups which contain a basic nitrogen atom with a lone pair of electrons. They are derivatives of ammonia where one or more hydrogen atom is replaced by substituent such as alkyl or aryl group. Important amines include amino acids, biogenic amines and aniline. Amines are inorganic derivatives of ammonia and so they are characterized by a distinctive unpleasant smell that is very similar to rotting fishes. They play a very significant role in the survival of life as they are involved in creating amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins in human beings. Many vitamins are also made from amino acids.

Uses of amines

Amines are largely used in pharmaceutical industry. Morphine and Demerol are used as analgesics that are pain killers. Novocaine is used as anesthetic and Ephedra is a very common decongestant. We use tetramethyl ammonium iodide for disinfecting drinking water. In daily life activities amines are used for pest control and tanning of leather. They find large applications in man-made dyes. Methamphetamines and amphetamines are recreational drugs. They are basic in nature with pH value above seven. Being basic in nature they are neutralized by the action of acids. The neutralization reaction result in the formation of alkylammonium salts which has many industrial uses.  Choline is one of these salts which plays a significant role in the production of neurotransmitters in human body to make the brain function properly. Serotonin is a primary neurotransmitter, it controls the feeling of hunger and the speed with which the brain functions generally.

Amines are used in making azo-dyes and nylon apart from medicines and drugs. They are widely used in developing chemicals for crop protection, medication and water purification. They also find use in products of personal care. Ethanolamines are the most common type of amine used in the global market.

This article covers the uses of amines and their basic properties. For any further detail install Byju’s the learning app.

Practise This Question

Which of the following has the strongest interparticle forces at the room temperature?