Artículo de interés sobre compuestos de amonio cuaternario:
Quaternary ammonium compounds are positively charged cationic nitrogen compounds, chlorine is generally the anion. They are antimicrobial compounds considered to be potent active ingredients in terms of their disinfectant potential as a biocide as they are highly effective in killing gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, although the latter to a lesser extent.
Ammonium quaternaries function as bactericides, fungicides and virucides, their efficiency lies in their activity in acid and alkaline media, as well as in their compatibility with cationic, non-ionic and amphoteric surfactants.
- First Generation Ammonium Quaternaries
Benzalkonium chloride (Maquiquat CB80), also called n-alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride, where the alkyl chain can have variations in carbon number composition. The alkyl chains of 12 and 14 carbons have the highest antibacterial power.
Although this compound was synthesised a long time ago, the molecule is still widely used in hospital and veterinary disinfection, as well as a bactericide for deodorant use in foot powders and topical disinfectants.
- Second Generation Ammonium Quaternaries
It is no longer commercially available. It is a product with the chemical name: n-alkyl dimethyl ethyl benzyl ammonium chloride, i.e. it has an ethyl radical in the aromatic ring.
- Third Generation Ammonium Quaternaries
It is a mixture of the first two generations of quaternaries: benzalkonium chloride (Maquicuat CB80) and alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride (Barquat TM 4280Z). The mixture of these two quaternaries results in increased biocidal activity, increased detergency and increased user safety due to relatively low toxicity.
- Fourth Generation Ammonium Quaternaries
Referred to as “Twin or Dual Chain Quats” or “twin chain” quaternaries, these are quaternary products with linear dialkyl chains and no benzene ring, such as: didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride or dioctyl dimethyl ammonium chloride or octyl decyl ammonium chloride, each in isolation. These quaternaries are superior in germicidal activity, are low foaming and have a high tolerance to protein loads and hard water. They are recommended for disinfection in the food and beverage industry, as they can be applied due to their low toxicity.
- Fifth Generation Ammonium Quaternaries
Mezcla de la cuarta generación con la segunda generación, es decir: cloruro de didecil dimetil amonio + cloruro de alquil dimetil bencil amonio + cloruro de alquil dimetiletilbencil amonio + otras variedades según las formulaciones. La quinta generación tiene un desempeño mayor germicida en condiciones hostiles y es de uso seguro.