| IUPAC name
| Other names
|Molar mass||31.06 g/mol|
|Density|| 1.4 g/l (gas)|
0.6624 g/cm3 (liquid, at 25 °C)
|Melting point||−93.10 °C (−135.58 °F; 180.05 K)|
|Boiling point||−6.6 °C (20.1 °F; 266.5 K)|
|1.008 g/L (at 20 °C)|
|Solubility|| Miscible in diethyl ether|
Soluble in acetone, benzene, ethanol, methanol, THF
Std enthalpy of
|−23.5 kJ mol−1|
|Safety data sheet||Sigma-Aldrich|
|Flash point||−10 °C|
|Lethal dose or concentration (LD, LC):|
LD50 (Median dose)
|100 mg kg−1 (oral, rat)|
LC50 (Median concentration)
|1,860 ppm (mouse, 2 hr)|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Methylamine or methanamine is a colorless gas with a strong fishy odor, having the formula CH3NH2 (sometimes shortened to MeNH2). It is an organic compound, the simplest primary amine.
Methylamine reacts with acids to form methylammonium salts, such as methylammmonium chloride (or methylamine hydrochloride):
- CH3NH2 + HCl → CH3NH3Cl
Methylamine is a colorless gas, heavier than air with a strong fish-like odor. It is very soluble in water and various organic solvents.
Methylamine is sold by various chemical suppliers, either as compressed gas in tanks or as salt, solid or as solution.
In US, methylamine and its salts are DEA List I chemicals, due to their use in the production of methamphetamine, and as such cannot be purchased freely.
Many other countries have similar restrictions.
There are several routes to methylamine.
The industrial process involves the reaction of methanol with anhydrous ammonia, in the presence of a drying catalyst, such as silica gel or more effective, a zeolite based catalyst. The reaction takes place at high temperatures, and dimethylamine and trimethylamine are also produced as side products with the latter being the most favoured by the reaction kinetics. Methylamine can be extracted from the mixture via either fractional distillation or other convenient methods.
- NH4Cl + 2 H2CO → CH3NH2·HCl + HCOOH
Both reagents are readily available in most places and the final product of the reaction is methylammonium chloride, which is solid and non-volatile, which makes the reaction safe. However, extracting the methylamine hydrochloride from the product proves frustrating, though it's perfectly possible.
To obtain freebase methylamine, MeNH2·HCl is reacted with a base, such as sodium hydroxide.
Hydrolysis of methyl isocyanate will also yield methylamine. However, the precursor is very toxic, which makes the reaction dangerous and impractical.
- H2NSO3H + CH3OH → CH3SO4NH4
- CH3SO4NH4 → CH3NH3·HSO4
- Make methylamommium halides
- Make methylammonium nitrate
- Make methylammonium perchlorate
- Make Metol
Methylamine is toxic and proper protection should be worn when handling the product.
Methylamine is best stored as a salt.
Anhydrous methylamine can be stored in gas cylinders.
Methylamine salts pose little danger to environment and (generally) don't require special disposal.