Amine vs Amide – Difference Between Amine and Amide

Amine vs Amide – Difference Between Amine and Amide

The difference between amine and amide compounds is that an amine consists of C, H and N atoms only without the addition of any carbonyl. In contrast, an amide is formed from the C, H N and O atoms, but carbonyl is present as part of its composition and linked directly with the N (nitrogen) atom.

Our aim today is to dive deep into the amine vs amide comparison to give you a clear overview of what sets these compounds apart from one another. They might seem similar at first glance (and they are), but when you understand a little more about them, they will soon be very easy to identify. Let’s further explore the world of amides vs amines.

Definition of Amine – So What Is Amine?

The definition of amine is “an organically occurring compound variety that is derived from ammonia and created by replacing one or several hydrogen atoms with organic groups.”

The structure of amine is unique when compared with an amide despite the names of the compounds being so similar. Ultimately, even though they both feature an organic component in place of hydrogen atoms (like a mineral or metal, for example), it is the lack of any carbonyl groups in an amine that reveals its identity.

There are a few other physical characteristics that separate these two compounds as well. For example, an amine will usually have a lower boiling threshold than an amide, and amines have a gaseous appearance at room temperature. Amides, on balance, appear as solids.

The atom-bonding process is also another area where we can see a clear separation. This is because an amine is exclusively formed by merging one or more nitrogen atoms with alkyl groups, whereas an amide is formed through completely different means as we will soon discuss.

Here are the different amine varieties.

  • Primary – One hydrogen atom has been swapped out and replaced by another element or substance.
  • Secondary – Two hydrogen atoms have been swapped out and replaced by another element or substance.
  • Tertiary – Three hydrogen atoms have been swapped out and replaced by another element or substance.

As you can see, what differentiates the amine varieties from each other is simply the number of H atoms that have been swapped out with other elements. A primary has one element swapped out. A secondary has two replacements and so forth.

As with an amide, an amine is simply an ammonia derivative. Ammonia is a pungent-smelling gas that serves as the necessary foundation needed to create both of these compounds.

We are now going to take a closer look at the definition and structure of amide so that you can clearly separate the two.

Definition of Amide – So What Is Amide?

The definition of amide is “a compound derivative of ammonia that sees one or several hydrogen atoms replaced by a metal.”

As you already know, the difference between amine and amide is quite considerable when you start looking deeper into their structure. When we are separating amides vs amines, we already know from the introduction to today’s post that a carbonyl group is directly attached to a nitrogen atom with an amide (whereas it is not with an amine), but there are some other signs to consider too.

Physically, amides are typically solid at room temperature, and they display acidic characteristics. They also have a much higher boiling point than their counterparts. This is an easy way to set amine vs amide apart based on the gaseous and non-solid appearance of amines.

Just as with amines, there are different categories of amides.

  • Primary amides – No nitrogen and alkyl bonding has taken place.
  • Secondary amides – Two instances of nitrogen and alkyl bonding have occurred.
  • Tertiary amides – Three instances of bonding have occurred.

A huge difference between amide and amine composition is that a primary amide features no nitrogen and alkyl bonding whatsoever, whereas the first amine variety features one as a bare minimum. With secondary and tertiary amides, there are two and three instances of bonding as there are with amines, however.

Carbonyl is also the primary distinguishing feature we can use to easily separate amide vs amine. A carbonyl is an organic molecule, and when analyzing the amides functional group of components, you will see at least one carbonyl molecule present.

With an amide, there is also an acyl group present whereas there is not with an amine. Instead, there is an alkyl group in its place. Amides also feature C, H N and O atoms as part of their composition whereas amines do not feature the O.

Even though there is easily enough information in this section to answer the question what is amide robustly, we are going to lay out the key variations between amides and amines in a quick reference table for you in the next section to summarize them effectively.

What Is the Main Difference Between Amine vs Amide?

The table below clearly displays the difference between amide and amine in a quick reference format that you can come back to anytime you get stuck with this subject.

Appearance at room temperatureGaseousSolid
Boiling pointBoiling point is typically much lower.Boiling point is typically much higher.
Does it contain a carbonyl group?NoYes
Different varietiesSingular, duplicate and tripleSingular, duplicate and triple  
Soluble in water?YesYes
Atom compositionC, H and N atoms present.C, H N and O atoms present.
Is acyl present?NoYes
Must alkyl always be present?YesNo
Does it have acidic properties?NoYes

Based on the above table, it is quite easy to compare amide vs amine and see their distinct differences.

Amine vs Amide – FAQ

We will now answer the most frequently asked questions about amines and amides so that there is no doubt left about how each of these compounds differ from one another.

Q: What are the functional groups in amide and amine?

A: Amides functional group consists of the C, H N and O atoms along with a carbonyl element being added into the mix, whereas amines functional group consists of the C, H and N atoms without any carbonyl whatsoever as part of the composition.

Q: So, what is amine, and what is amide?

A: Amides and amines are both organic compounds derived from the gas ammonia. However, the main difference between the two is that an amine features no carbonyl as part of its composition whereas an amide does.

Q: What do amines and amides look like?

A: An amine appears as a gas at room temperature, while an amide appears as a solid.

So What Is the Difference Between Amide and Amine? – Conclusion

Finally, you should now be able to separate these two organic compounds from one another with ease.

In summary, an amide features the C, H N and O atoms along with a carbonyl group, and an amine features only the C, H and N atoms but without the presence of a carbonyl group.

Anytime you get lost when trying to summarize the two in the future, simply take a look at our quick reference table for an overview of their key differences.