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IUPAC name Acetamide
Molecular formula C2H5NO
CAS number 60-35-5
Molar mass 59.07 g/mol
Density 1.16 g/cm³
Melting point


Boiling point

222 °C

Solubility in water 200 g/100 ml
MSDS External MSDS
EU classification Harmful (Xn)
Carc. Cat. 3
EU Index 616-022-00-4
NFPA 704
R-phrases R40
S-phrases (S2), S36/37
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox disclaimer and references

Acetamide (or acetic acid amide or ethanamide), CH3CONH2, the amide of acetic acid, is a white crystalline solid in pure form. It is produced by dehydrating ammonium acetate. It is used as a plasticizer and in the synthesis of many other organic compounds.

Acetamide is not extremely combustible, but releases irritating fumes when ignited. It is toxic by inhalation (of dust), ingestion, skin and eye contact. Skin or eye contact may cause redness and pain.

The derivative N,N-dimethylacetamide (DMA), which has two methyl groups replacing the amine protons, is used as a solvent. N-methylacetamide is often used as the simplest model in studies of the peptide bond.

Recent work on the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope has resulted in the discovery of several organic (carbon-based) compounds near the center of the Milky Way galaxy. Acetamide has been detected. This is particularly important as acetamide has an amide bond, similar to the essential bond between amino acids in proteins. This supports the theory that organic molecules that can lead to life (as we know it on Earth) can form in space.

Cancer link

Acetamide has been found to cause cancer in laboratory animals. It is classified in Group 2B "possible human carcinogen" by the IARC.


  • J. M. Hollis, F. J. Lovas, Anthony J. Remijan, P. R. Jewell, V. V. Ilyushin, and I. Kleiner (2006). "Detection of Acetamide (CH3CONH2): The Largest Interstellar Molecule with a Peptide Bond". The Astrophysical Journal 643 (2): L25–L28. doi:10.1086/505110.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Acetamide". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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