Amines


An amine is an organic base compound with a general formula of R3N. In this expression, the R is either H or a hydrocarbon group. Amines are the most important basic substances and can abstract a proton from a water molecule by forming an N-H bond.

Examples:

Ethylamineexternal image organi22.gif
Trimethylamine external image Trimethylamine.gif

Phenylamineexternal image 62-53-3.gif


Amines with low molecular weights typically have a "fishy" odor, such as putrescine [ H2N(CH2)4NH2 ] and cadaverine [ H2N(CH2)5NH2 ]. Along with NH3, they are created by the decomposition of dead animal/plant matter in the absence of oxygen. (Hence, the process is anaerobic.)

Acid salts can be produced when an amine nitrogen is protonated by the addition of an acid. Such a reaction is written as AH+Cl- , where the A stands for the amine, and the ions represent the acid. (This was an example for the use of hydrochloric acid, and may be referred to as hydrochloride.) Drugs that are amines are used as acid salts because they are less volatile, more water soluble, and more stable than the neutral amines. This stability can be seen throughout the structure of caffeine.
external image caffine.gif

Information from:
Chemistry: The Central Science.
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http://www.teachmetuition.co.uk/Chemistry/Organic/Images/organi22.gif
http://www.mhhe.com/biosci/pae/botany/botany_map/images/caffine.gif