Imine Hydrolysis

What Is Imine Hydrolysis?

Imine hydrolysis is a method of extracting a wide variety of useful compounds from organic materials by reacting them with water or other liquids. The most common form of this reaction is called Imines. These are a class of compounds made up of one carbon atom bonded to three hydrogen atoms.

Imines can be made by heating a wide array of organic compounds under the right conditions. These conditions can include heat, light, and pressure. The two most common forms of imines are ole amines (such as glycine and ammonia), and nitriles (such as acetonitrile and pyridine). The most common application of this reaction is in making dyes, pharmaceuticals, and explosives, but it can also be used to extract a wide range of compounds, including indoles, isoquinolines, and many others.

How Does This Reaction Work?

You can make imine by heating ole amine or ammonia under pressure and temperature.

Note that the pyridine molecule in the diagram below cannot be divided down without breaking the C-N bond. This means that all imines are considered heterocyclics.

Imines are fairly stable, making them good dyes. They also react fairly easily with other substances (including other dyes), and are sometimes used in reactions as a way to initiate other reactions.

What Are Some Other Names For This Reaction?

Other names for this reaction include: imidization, azidation, and amide hydrolysis.

What Compounds Can Be Made Using This Reaction?

Compounds that can be made using this reaction include:

Where Does This Reaction Take Place?

This reaction takes place in a few different places.

What Is Imine Hydrolysis Used For?

Imine hydrolysis is mainly used to make dyes and medicines, but it can also be used to make other materials. For example, it can be used to make amides (a class of compounds made up of one amine (group NCN) bonded to a carbonyl group (C=O). Amides are very common in nature. They are found in many different foods we eat, including meats, cheeses, milk, and more. They are also in many common medicines and drugs, such as Aspirin, morphine, and caffeine. Amides can also be very useful in the manufacturing industry.

Who Uses This Reaction?

Several different companies and institutions use this reaction to produce a variety of different chemicals. These include:

How Do I Get Started With This?

This reaction can be one of the more straightforward reactions to get started with. However, like many techniques, it does require a bit of time and investment. You will need a stove, pressure cooker, and a few other pieces of equipment. You may need to look around your house to find the missing pieces. You will also need to learn some safety information. For example, you do not want to build up too much pressure inside the pot. This can lead to shattered glass, scalding hot liquids, and more.

Once you have everything you need, follow the steps above and you should be able to make the chemicals needed for this reaction. Keep in mind that this is a somewhat advanced reaction, so you may want to do some reading up on the subject before attempting it.



  • Chronopotentiometry with Current Reversal. Application to p-Benzoquinone Imine Hydrolysis (AC Testa, WH Reinmuth – Analytical Chemistry, 1960 – ACS Publications)
  • Imine Hydrolysis and Role of a Rhodium(I)−Imine−Amine Complex in Homogeneous H2-Hydrogenation of the Imine and a Rare Example of Inequivalent NH2 … (P Marcazzan, C Abu-Gnim, KN Seneviratne… – Inorganic …, 2004 – ACS Publications)
  • Selective fluorescence sensing of copper (II) and water via competing imine hydrolysis and alcohol oxidation pathways sensitive to water content in aqueous … (K Mariappan, M Alaparthi, G Caple… – Inorganic …, 2014 – ACS Publications)

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