Quaternary ammonium cations, also known as quaternary ammonium salts, quaternary ammonium compounds or "Quats," are salts of quaternary ammonium cations with an anion. Quats are positively charged ions of the structure NR4+ with R being alkyl groups. Unlike ammonium NH3 itself and primary, secondary or teriary ammonium cations, the quaternary ammonium cations are permanently charged, independent of the pH of their solution. Quaternary ammonium cztions are synthesized by complet alkylation of ammonia or other amines.
Disinfection and sanitation formulations are often referred to as biocides or biocidal. Disinfection can simply be defined as a treatment to destroy harmful microorganisms or cleansing. Quats can be used to both disinfect and sanitize, as they act against bacteria causing sour smell, mildew, etc.
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