CIE AS Chemistry (9701) exams from 2022

Revision Notes

3.7.1 Primary Amines

Production of Amines

  • Amines are compounds with the amine (-NH2) functional group 
  • They can be produced as a result of nucleophilic substitution reactions of halogenoalkanes when they are heated under pressure with ethanolic ammonia (NH3 in ethanol)
  • The halogen atom in halogenoalkanes is more electronegative than the carbon atom it is bonded to
  • The halogen, therefore, draws electron density from the C-X bond (where X is the halogen) towards itself
  • The carbon, therefore, has a partial positive charge and the halogen itself has a partial negative charge  
  • The lone pair of electrons on the nitrogen atom (in NH3) acts as a nucleophile and attacks the partial positively charged carbon 
  • As a result of this nucleophilic attack, the C-X bond is broken and the halogen is substituted by an amine group

Amine replaces the halogen in halogenoalkanes in a nucleophilic substitution reaction

Author: Francesca

Fran has taught A level Chemistry in the UK for over 10 years. As head of science, she used her passion for education to drive improvement for staff and students, supporting them to achieve their full potential. Fran has also co-written science textbooks and worked as an examiner for UK exam boards.
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