Get the app in the App Store and on Google Play!

Quaternary Ammonium and Phosphonium Salts

Add to MyChemicals

There are 40 chemical datasheets assigned to this reactive group.

What are reactive groups?

Reactive groups are categories of chemicals that typically react in similar ways because they are similar in their chemical structure. Each substance with a chemical datasheet has been assigned to one or more reactive groups, and CAMEO Chemicals uses the reactive group assignments to make its reactivity predictions. More info about reactivity predictions...

If you can't find a chemical in the database--but you know what reactive group it belongs in--you can add the reactive group to MyChemicals instead in order to see the reactivity predictions.

Flammability
Some are combustible.
Reactivity
Quaternary ammonium salts often serve as catalysts in reactions. They are incompatible with many strong oxidizers and reducing agents, such as metal hydrides, alkali/active metals, and organometallics.
Toxicity
Quaternary ammonium compounds can display a range of health effects, from mild skin and respiratory irritation up to severe caustic burns on skin and gastro-intestinal lining (depending on concentration), gastro-intestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea and vomiting), coma, convulsions, hypotension and death. They are thought to be the chemical group responsible for anaphylactic reactions that occur with use of neuromuscular blocking drugs during general anaesthesia in surgery. Quaternium-15 is the single most often found cause of allergic contact dermatitis of the hands.
Other Characteristics
This group covers compounds with the structure [NR4]+, R being an alkyl group or an aryl group. Unlike the ammonium ion, [NH4]+, and the primary, secondary, or tertiary ammonium cations, the quaternary ammonium cations are permanently charged, independent of the pH of their solution. Quaternary ammonium salts or quaternary ammonium compounds (called quaternary amines in oilfield parlance) are salts of quaternary ammonium cations with an anion. These compounds often are used as phase transfer reagents to accelerate reactions in mixed organic-aqueous systems where separate reactants primarily are soluble in different layers. Quaternary ammonium salts are used as disinfectants, surfactants, fabric softeners, and as antistatic agents (e.g. in shampoos). In liquid fabric softeners, the chloride salts are often used. In dryer anti-cling strips, the sulfate salts are often used. Spermicidal jellies also contain quaternary ammonium salts.
Examples
Tetramethylammonium chloride, tetraethylammonium bromide, tetraethylammonium chloride, tetraphenylammonium bromide, tetraphenylammonium borate, chlormequat chloride, propantheline bromide, tetramethylphosphonium bromide.

Use the links below to find out how this reactive group interacts with any of the reactive groups in the database.

The predicted hazards and gas byproducts for each reactive group pair will be displayed, as well as documentation and references that were used to make the reactivity predictions.

Version 2.7.1 rev 1