Amination technology

Amines are compounds derived from ammonia (NH3) and contain a nitrogen atom with a lone electron pair.

Amination is the process by which an amine group is added to an organic compound. Johnson Matthey's DAVY™ amination technology is based on an improved form of the Leonard Process, a well-established route to amine production by the vapour-phase reaction of alcohols or ether with ammonia in the presence of an alumina-silica catalyst.


DAVY amination technology drives our methylamines process, reacting vapour phase methanol and ammonia to produce monomethylamine (MMA), dimethylamine (DMA) and trimethylamine (TMA).

We also offer adapted versions of this flowsheet, which further process the methylamine products to generate choline chloride (ChCl), dimethylformamide (DMF) and n-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP).

The amination reactions proceed as follows:


As part of this process, disproportionation and transmethylation reactions also create amines:


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Licensed processes team