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What Are Quats?

Quats are ammonium salts. Each quat molecule has a central “core” characterized by a positively-charged nitrogen atom (N+) that is attached to other chemically-active groups that include carbon.  Many different quat-based compounds are created by modifications of this basic molecule.  The quats in this website are known as ADBAC and DDAC.

Alkyl Dimethyl Benzyl Ammonium Chlorides (ADBAC)

ADBAC quats have three alkyl groups and one benzyl group.  The 21 different alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chlorides (ADBAC) are widely used as surfactants. The first of these was first synthesized in 1935.  ADBAC quats are used extensively to kill bacteria, fungi, and algae as part of sanitizer, deodorant, and disinfectant products.  They are used in restaurants, dairies, food storage and processing operations, laundries and medical facilities.

Diakyl Dimethyl Ammonium Chloride (DDAC)

There are five DDAC compounds that are structurally similar, with two alkyl groups and two methyl groups.  Products that contain DDAC are antiseptics and disinfectants.  DDAC-based products are used as surface disinfectants in healthcare, hospitality and many other industries to kill a broad spectrum of bacteria and fungi.