Quaternary ammonium are classified as:
First Generation of quaternary ammonium
Benzalkonium chloride, also known as nalquil dimethyl benzyl, wherein the alkyl chain can have variations in the composition of decarbonos number chloride. The alkyl chains of 12 and 14 carbons, are those with greater antibacterial power. This first generation emerged over 50 years ago, is the one with lowest since biocidal activity and has many years in the market for disinfection applications, there may be as bacterial resistance to the product. However, this molecule is still widely used in hospital and veterinary disinfection, bactericidal and deodorant use foot powders and topical disinfectants.
Second Generation of quaternary ammonium
There is no longer commercially. It is a product whose chemical name is: of nalquil ethyl benzyl dimethyl ammonium chloride, that is, has an ethyl radical in the aromatic ring.
Third Generation of quaternary ammonium
The mixture of the first two generations of quaternary: benzalkonium chloride (1st Generation) chloride and alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride (2nd Generation). The mixture of these two quaternary it have an increased biocidal activity, increased detergency and increased user safety by a relatively low toxicity. The use of the mixture helps to prevent bacterial resistance to continued use of a single molecule.
Fourth Generation of Quaternary Ammonium
They called “Twin or Dual Chain quats” or quaternary “twin chain” are quaternary products with linear dialkyl chains without benzene ring, such as didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride or chloride, dioctyl dimethyl ammonium chloride or octyl decyl ammonium, each isolated. These quaternaries are superior in germicidal activity are low foaming and have a high tolerance to protein loads and hard water. Recommended for disinfection in food and beverage industry, because it can be applied by low toxicity.
Fifth Generation of quaternary ammonium
Mixture of the fourth generation with the second generation, that is, didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride + + alkyl dimethyl ammonium chloride, alkyl benzyl ammonium dimetiletilbencil + of other varieties according to the formulations. The fifth generation has a greater germicidal performance in harsh conditions and is safe to use.