Classification And Properties
Like the amines, the amides can be classified as primary, secondary, or tertiary, depending on the number of hydrogen atoms substituted in the ammonia molecule. An amide containing the -NH2 group is a primary amide, one containing the -NH group is a secondary amine, and one containing the -N-group is a tertiary amine.
Although amides and amines both contain an amino group (-NH2, NH or N), the former are much weaker bases and much stronger acids than the latter. Amides undergo many of the same reactions as do other derivatives of organic acids. For example, they undergo hydrolysis to produce the parent carboxylic acid and ammonia. They can also be dehydrated with a strong agent such as diphosphorus pentoxide, P2O5. The product of this reaction, a nitrile, a compound containing the -C ≡N group, is widely used in the synthesis of other organic compounds.
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