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the organic compound NH2(CH2)6NH2; colorless crystals. Melting point, 42° C; boiling point, 204°-205° C; readily soluble in water, alcohol, ether, and other organic solvents; distilled by steam.
With prolonged exposure, hexamethylenediamine vapors can cause disturbances of the central and autonomic nervous systems and other disorders in man. Hexamethylenediamine is a very important intermediate in the production of polyamide fibers (nylon). Worldwide production of the compound approaches several hundred thousand tons per year. A widespread industrial method for hexamethylenediamine production consists of adipodinitrile reduction on copper-cobalt catalysts (125° C, 60-62.5 meganewtons per sq m, 600-625 kilograms-force per sq cm), cobalt on silica gel, or other catalysts:
N≡C−(CH2)4−C≡N + 4H2→NH2(CH2)6NH2