Cetyltrimethylammonium bromide

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A quaternary ammonium salt. Cetytrimethylammonium bromide, or cetrimonium bromide, is used as a Cationic detergent, Surfactant, and Bactericide. It has been added to glue-paste formulations as a nontoxic alternative to Phenol (Ackroyd 1996).

Synonyms and Related Terms

cetyltrimethylammonium bromide; CTAB; hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide; cetrimonium bromide; Cetab; Centimide

Chemical structure

Cetyltrimethylammonium bromide.jpg


  • Harmful if swallowed.
  • Contact causes severe irritation.
  • ThermoFisher: SDS

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in water, ethanol, chloroform. Insoluble in ether, benzene, acetone.

Composition C16H33(CH3)3NBr
CAS 57-09-0
Melting Point 237-243 C
Molecular Weight mol. wt. = 364.45

Resources and Citations

  • P.Ackroyd "Glue-Paste Lining of Paintings: An Evaluation of Some Additive Materials" ICOM Edinburgh 1996 p.231-238