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Ethylamine is a chemical compound with the formula CH3CH2NH2. It has a strong ammonia-like odor. It is miscible with virtually all solvents and is considered to be a weak base, as is typical for amines. Ethylamine is widely used in chemical industry and organic synthesis.

Ethylamine, like some other amines, has the unusual property of dissolving lithium metal to give the ion [Li(amine)4]+ and the solvated electron. Evaporation of these solutions, gives back lithium metal. Such solutions are used for the reduction of unsaturated organic compounds, such as naphthalenes[1] and alkynes.

Synthesis and reactions

Ethylamine can be prepared in a laboratory by reaction of ethylene with ammonia in the presence of a catalyst.

H2C=CH2 + NH3 → CH3CH2NH2

It can also be synthesized from acetaldehyde and ammonium chloride.[citation needed]

2 CH3CHO + NH4Cl → CH3CH2NH3Cl + CH3CO2H
CH3CH2NH3Cl + NaOH → CH3CH2NH2 + NaCl + H2O

Reaction of ethylamine with sulfuryl chloride followed by oxidaton of the sulfonamide give diethyldiazene, EtN=NEt.[2]

It is a basic compound.


  1. Kaiser, E. M.; Benkeser R. A. "Δ9,10-Octalin" Organic Syntheses, Collected Volume 6, p.852 (1988).
  2. Ohme, R.; Preuschhof, H.; Heyne, H.-U. "Azoethane" Organic Syntheses, Collected Volume 6, p.78 (1988).

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