Cetalkonium chloride

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An odorless antiseptic compound widely used as a Disinfectant in detergents. Cetol is active at low concentrations and has been used to kill bacteria, fungi, Algae, and lichens. It does not kill spores. The compounds effectiveness is reduced in solutions containing hard water, salts, or organic compounds.

Synonyms and Related Terms

benzyldimethylhexadecylammonium chloride; N-hexadecyl-N,N-dimethylbenzenemethanaminium chloride; Cetol; quaternary ammonium compounds

Chemical structure

Cetalkonium chloride.jpg


  • Contact may cause skin irritation.
  • An overdose may cause shortness of breath, cyanosis, CNS depression, low blood pressure, coma.
  • Fisher Scientific: MSDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in sorbitol solutions, glycerol, ether

Composition C25H46ClN.H2O
CAS 122-18-9
Melting Point 59 C
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 395.78

Resources and Citations

  • G.Caneva, M.P.Nugari, O.Salvadori, Biology in the Conservation of Works of Art, ICCROM, Rome, 1991

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