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Difference Between Amine and Amide

Secondary_amineAmine vs. Amide

If ever you have paid close attention to your Chemistry teacher, then you may have heard of the terms, amides and amines. Because of their shear similarity in spelling, just a letter different from the other, both terms have been subject to much confusion. Here are the differences between the two terms to help you clear things up.

As mentioned, amide is a term that you often hear in your Chemistry lectures. It is basically a compound, organic in nature, whose group is bonded as R-C=O, and connected to an atom of Nitrogen (N). When you deprotonate NH3, commonly known as ammonia, you also get an amide. The deprotonation of ammonia results in the removal of one Hydrogen (H) ion, with the resultant chemical NH2 being bonded to an acyl group, which is the R-C=O bond mentioned above.

Amides can also be derived from acids, such as carboxylic, where the hydroxyl group of the acid has been swapped with ammonia. Another example can be shown in acetic acid, where the resultant product is acetamide. The reaction and separation of ions turned the acid into an amide. Hence, in naming these compounds, you are just going to add amide as a suffix to the parent acid. Acetic plus amide gives you acetamide; not to mention, you need to drop off some letters from the parent acid to make it sound more formal. The chemical property of amides is also key to its characteristic. It is actually a weak base.

On the other side of the coin, amines are still organic compounds. Like amides, they can also come from ammonia, but are bonded with either an alkyl or an aryl group. This is different from amides, where the connecting bond must be an acyl. Similarly, the alkyl and aryl bond is the remnant of ammonia, after one hydrogen ion has been chemically removed. Examples of amines are amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), and aniline.

In naming amines, you can actually place the prefix ‘amino’ at the beginning of the chemical or compound, or the suffix ‘amine’ after the name of the parent term. Examples of which are diamine and 2-aminopentane. Moreover, amines are the same as amides in terms of their chemical properties. Both compounds are actually weak bases.

Although amides and amines are both weak base organic compounds, they still differ in the following aspects:

1. Amides are the fusion of an acyl group, and the remnant of deprotonation of NH3, whereas amines are the fusion of an alkyl or aryl group to the same chemical.

2. Amides are named by adding the suffix ‘amide’ after the parent term, whereas amines are named either by adding the prefix ‘amino’, or the suffix ‘amine’, before and after the parent term, in the respective order.

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  • 1 Comment

    1. You sir, have just made my life a lot simpler. Thank you!

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