What is the Difference Between Methylamine and Dimethylamine

The main difference between methylamine and dimethylamine is that methylamine has one methyl group (-CH3) attached to the amino group (-NH2), while dimethylamine has two methyl groups attached to the amino group.

Methylamine and dimethylamine are organic compounds that belong to the amine class of chemicals. They both consist of amino groups attached to methyl groups.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Methylamine  
      – Definition, Features, Applications
2. What is Dimethylamine
      – Definition, Features, Applications
3. Similarities Between Methylamine and Dimethylamine
      – Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Methylamine and Dimethylamine
      – Comparison of Key Differences
5. FAQ: Methylamine and Dimethylamine
      – Frequently Asked Questions

Key Terms

CHNH, (CH3)2NH, Dimethylamine, Methylamine

Difference Between Methylamine and Dimethylamine - Comparison Summary

What is Methylamine

Methylamine, with the chemical formula CHNH, is a crucial compound in organic chemistry with diverse applications. Its structure consists of a central nitrogen atom bonded to three hydrogen atoms and one methyl group, forming an amine.

One notable application of methylamine is its involvement in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, and other fine chemicals. It serves as a precursor in the production of numerous drugs, including antihypertensive medications and certain antifungal agents. Its importance lies in its ability to act as a building block for more complex organic molecules.

Compare Methylamine and Dimethylamine

In terms of its chemical properties, methylamine behaves as a weak base due to the lone pair of electrons on the nitrogen atom. This characteristic makes it reactive in various reactions, such as nucleophilic substitution and addition reactions. Additionally, methylamine can undergo condensation reactions to form imines and enamines, expanding its synthetic utility.

The industrial synthesis of methylamine typically involves the reaction of ammonia with methanol in the presence of a catalyst. This process yields methylamine along with water. The resulting product can then be purified for use in different applications.

In organic synthesis, methylamine finds application in reductive amination, a method widely used to introduce nitrogen-containing functional groups into organic compounds. This reaction is particularly valuable in the synthesis of amines, which are prevalent in many organic molecules.

What is Dimethylamine

Dimethylamine (DMA) is an organic compound belonging to the class of amines, characterized by the presence of two methyl groups (-CH3) attached to a central amine nitrogen atom. Its chemical formula is (CH3)2NH. This colorless gas has a distinct, fishy odor and is highly soluble in water, making it a versatile compound in various industrial applications.

The synthesis of dimethylamine involves the reaction of methanol with ammonia, typically through a catalytic process. This results in the formation of dimethylamine and water, a reaction represented by the equation:

2CH3OH + NH3 → (CH3)2NH + 2H2O

Methylamine vs Dimethylamine

Dimethylamine is crucial in the production of agricultural chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and surfactants. One notable application is its role as a building block in the synthesis of herbicides and pesticides, contributing to the development of effective crop protection agents. Additionally, it serves as a precursor in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals, such as certain analgesics and antihypertensive drugs.

The chemical properties of dimethylamine are closely linked to its amine nature. It can act as a weak base, forming salts with acids. For instance, reacting dimethylamine with hydrochloric acid produces dimethylamine hydrochloride:

(CH3)2NH + HCl → (CH3)2NHCl

This salt is often utilized in organic synthesis and as a source of dimethylamine in various applications.

In terms of reactivity, dimethylamine participates in nucleophilic substitution reactions, typical of amines. It can react with alkyl halides or acyl chlorides, leading to the formation of substituted amines or amides, respectively.

Dimethylamine’s unique properties, including its odor and reactivity, make it an interesting subject of study in organic chemistry. Understanding its chemistry is essential for optimizing its industrial applications and exploring new avenues in the synthesis of valuable compounds.

Similarities Between Methylamine and Dimethylamine

  • Both molecules contain amine functional groups, consisting of nitrogen atoms bonded to hydrogen atoms.
  • Both consist of amino groups attached to methyl groups.
  • They have a pungent odor. 

Difference Between Methylamine and Dimethylamine


Methylamine has the chemical formula CHNH and consists of one methyl group (CH) attached to an amino group (NH). Dimethylamine, on the other hand, has the formula (CH)NH and includes two methyl groups attached to an amino group.

Methyl Group

While methylamine contains a single methyl group, dimethylamine contains two methyl groups.


Due to its smaller size and simpler structure, methylamine is generally a gas. Dimethylamine, with its larger and more complex structure, typically exists in a liquid state.

FAQ: Methylamine and Dimethylamine

Is dimethylamine the same as methylamine?

No, Dimethylamine is not the same as methylamine. 

What is dimethylamine used for?

Dimethylamine is used in the production of pharmaceuticals, rubber accelerators, and agrochemicals. It is a key intermediate in the synthesis of various organic compounds.

Is dimethylamine soluble in water?

Yes, dimethylamine is soluble in water.


The main difference between methylamine and dimethylamine is that methylamine has one methyl group (-CH3) attached to the amino group (-NH2), while dimethylamine has two methyl groups attached to the amino group.


1. “Methylamine.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia Foundation.
2. “Dimethylamine.” PubChem. National Library of Medicine.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Valence structural formula of methylamine” By Chem Sim 2001 – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Dimethylamine-2D-skeletal” (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Hasini A

Hasini is a graduate of Applied Science with a strong background in forestry, environmental science, chemistry, and management science. She is an amateur photographer with a keen interest in exploring the wonders of nature and science.

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