20. The Variety of Organic         Compounds   Previous PageNext Page
        Amines and Other Organic Bases

Amines and other nitrogen compounds are the bases of the organic world. The amines are prepared by reacting chlorides of hydrocarbons with ammonia with a hydrocarbon group:

Amines are classified as primary, secondary or tertiary, according to the number of nonhydrogen substituents they have on the nitrogen. Tetraethylammonium ion is a quarternary ammonium ion, but there obviously can be no quarternary amine molecules. All of these amines can add a proton to form a substituted ammonium ion, and all are about as strong bases as ammonia, with 10. The secondary and tertiary amines are toxic, with a nauseating fishy smell.

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