- 1 Features
- 2 Importance
- 2.1 Industrial production
- 2.2 In living beings
- 2.3 Drugs and medications
Important Features of amines functional group
- They are polar compounds.
- They are derivatives of the NH3 group (ammonia).
- They can form hydrogen bonds (primary and secondary amines) and permanent dipole (tertiary amines).
- They are soluble in ethanol and in water if the chain has less than six carbons.
- They are insoluble in water, but soluble in organic solvents if the chain has six carbons or more.
- Amines that have one to three carbons are gaseous.
- If the chain has between four to twelve carbons then they are liquid.
- They have high boiling and melting points.
- They have a basic character, so they do the neutralization reaction in the presence of an acid.
- They are organic bases.
Importance of amines
This function is important because it is present in several substances used in the daily life of living beings. Look at some areas where amines become significantly relevant:
Amines are widely used in various organic syntheses , in the production of certain types of soaps, in the vulcanization of rubber (process in which sulfur is added to natural rubber to make it more resistant and flexible) and in the production of salts of Ammonium, which are softening substances used in hair conditioners.
An important aromatic amine is benzeneamine or phenylamine , which is aniline, used as a dye in several shades. It is obtained through the degradation of indigo, a dark blue dye obtained from the Indigofera anil plant. «Anilina» comes from the name of this plant.
Synthetic amines dyes are also used in the food industry in candy, ice cream, candy, etc. They are much cheaper and easier to obtain than natural dyes. But some of them can be toxic and cause health problems, especially in children, such as tartrazine (a yellow dye).
In addition to the production of dyes, aromatic amines are also widely used in the manufacture of explosives.
Amines In living things
Amines appear in living things mainly in the form of amino acids, one of the most important groups of molecules for life. The amino acids have the amino group and a carboxyl group attached to the chain. From them proteins are formed.
In the decomposition of many animals amines are present. For example, the unpleasant smell characteristic of rotten fish is due to trimethylamine.
Amines in Drugs and medications:
Alkaloids are cyclic amines with heterocyclic rings containing nitrogen. They are of plant origin, but can also be synthesized in the laboratory. They act in defense of plants against insects.
Its properties allow its use as medicines. However, since they cause chemical and psychic addiction they must have prescription and medical control.
See the following examples:
- Nicotine: produced by burning cigarettes, is responsible for tobacco addiction.
- Caffeine: present in various drinks such as coffee, guarana powder and black tea. It is a central nervous system stimulant.
- Morphine: Extracted from the poppy, it is used to relieve severe pain.
- Cocaine: Extracted from the coca leaf. It has already been used in medicines and beverages, but currently its highest consumption is in illicit drugs that destroy the lives of countless people.
- Amphetamines: group of amines capable of activating the nervous system, reducing appetite, feeling fatigue and generating a greater mood. They are energy stimulants. Its use can lead to crises similar to that of schizophrenia, with auditory hallucinations and dependence.
- Antidepressants: One of the most prescribed antidepressants is fluoxetine hydrochloride. Fluoxetine is an amine that acts in the recapture of serotonin (hormone of well-being and good mood).
Positive amines are being used in medicine in the United States, where a mixture of two amines (perfluordecalin and perfluortripropylamine (fluosol)) has been approved as a blood substitute in cardiac surgeries.