Could ammonia displace a chloride in dichloromethane to form a methylammonia? If so, given enough reagents and time, could this be used to make a 3D structure comprised of nitrogen bonded carbons, and carbons bonded to nitrogen and hidrogen?

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    $\begingroup$ You mean en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hexamethylenetetramine ? $\endgroup$ – Karl Jul 13 '20 at 21:48
  • $\begingroup$ Kind of. I guess a exaustive alkylation could occur though, extending the structure. $\endgroup$ – AppleAsker Jul 13 '20 at 22:21
  • $\begingroup$ I was not aware of that synthesis though. I guess if that stops there, the same would be observed in my experiment. Why does it stop there though? Why doesn't a nitrogen attack another aldehyde? $\endgroup$ – AppleAsker Jul 13 '20 at 22:45
  • $\begingroup$ There apparently exists CH2Cl2.NH3, which suggests a possible answer of no. $\endgroup$ – AJKOER Jul 13 '20 at 23:44
  • $\begingroup$ CH2Cl2 is not nearly as reactive as CH2O - that's why it's used as solvent. $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Jul 14 '20 at 0:08

If the reaction with methanal does not yield your product, DCM, being less reactive, won't as well.

I cannot point out why the reaction stops there, but from Wikipedia it seems that methenamine can be easily converted to a quaternary ammonium salt by simple alkylation.

Furthermore, your product has a problem: if the nitrogens did become quaternary ammonia**, your structure would collapse due to Coulomb repulsion caused by the positive charges.

** I'm not a native speaker, but if equilibrium plural is equilibria, I think it is reasonable for ammonium plural to be ammonia.


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