Quaternary Ammonium Salt

A quaternary ammonium salt is an ionic compound that has the following general structural formula.


n = positive whole number
R1, R2, R3, and R4 could be hydrogen atoms, alkyl groups, aryl groups, or any combination thereof.  A could be any anion present in salt.

eg:



The word “salt” in quaternary ammonium salt is a misnomer because a quaternary ammonium salt can not be prepared by an acid-base reaction.

see also quaternary ammonium ion, primary ammonium salt, secondary ammonium salt, tertiary ammonium salt

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