Chemical Structure / July 18, 2018 / Scarlett Eaton
Benzylamine is used in the industrial manufacturer of numerous pharmaceuticals, including alniditan, lacosamide, moxifloxacin, and nebivolol. It is also used to manufacture the military explosive hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane (HNIW) which is superior to older nitroamine high explosives like HMX and RDX, though it is less stable. The US Navy is testing HNIW for use in rocket propellants, such as for missiles, as it has lower observability characteristics such as less visible smoke.
Benzylamine can be produced by several methods, the main industrial route being the reaction of benzyl chloride and ammonia. It is also produced by the reduction of benzonitrile and reductive amination of benzaldehyde over Raney nickel. It was produced accidentally by Rudolf Leuckart in the reaction of benzaldehyde with formamide in a process now known as the Leuckart reaction, a general process in which reductive amination of aldehydes or ketones yields the corresponding amine
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