The key difference between benzethonium chloride and benzalkonium chloride is that benzethonium chloride is produced as a white solid, whereas benzalkonium chloride in its pure form is colorless and appears in a pale yellow color under the presence of impurities.
Benzethonium chloride is a quaternary ammonium salt that is synthetic, whereas benzalkonium chloride is a type of cationic surfactant.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Benzethonium Chloride
3. What is Benzalkonium Chloride
4. Benzethonium Chloride vs Benzalkonium Chloride in Tabular Form
5. Summary – Benzethonium Chloride vs Benzalkonium Chloride
What is Benzethonium Chloride?
Benzethonium chloride or hyamine is a quaternary ammonium salt that is synthetic. It occurs as an odorless white solid that is soluble in water. This substance shows surfactant properties, antiseptic properties, and anti-infective properties. Moreover, benzethonium chloride is useful as a topical antimicrobial agent for first aid antiseptics. We can find this substance in cosmetics and toiletries, including soaps, mouthwash, anti-itch ointments, and antibacterial moist towelettes. Moreover, benzethonium chloride is useful in the food industry for its hard surface disinfectant properties.
The chemical formula of this compound is C27H42ClNO2. Its molar mass is 448 g/mol and its melting point is 163 Celsius degrees.
Benzethonium chloride exhibits a large spectrum of microbicidal activity against bacteria, fungi, mold and viruses. According to some research studies, this substance is highly effective against pathogens such as Salmonella, Escherichia coli, hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, herpes simplex virus, etc. The trade names for this substance include Salanine, BZT, Diapp, Quatrachlor, Polymine D, Phemithyn, Antiseptol, DIsilyn, etc.
Additionally, benzethonium chloride has some other uses because the chloride contains a positively charged nitrogen atom that has a covalent bond with four carbon atoms. This positive charge can attract the compound into the hair and skin. Therefore, this substance can contribute to a soft, powdery after-feel on the hair and skin and also long-lasting activity against microorganisms. Moreover, this positive charge (hydrophilic part) of the molecule allows it to act as a cationic detergent.
What is Benzalkonium Chloride?
Benzalkonium chloride is a type of cationic surfactant. We can name it as an organic salt that comes under quaternary ammonium compounds. There are three main categories of this substance named as biocide, cationic surfactant, and phase transfer agent, depending on the applications of benzalkonium chloride.
The appearance of benzalkonium chloride can range from colorless to pale yellow color depending on the impurities in the substance. This compound readily dissolves in ethanol and acetone. But the solubility in water is comparatively slow. Moreover, the aqueous solutions of the benzalkonium chlorides are neutral to slightly alkaline. When we shake these solutions, it appears to form foam. Furthermore, the concentrated solutions of benzalkonium chloride solutions have a bitter taste and a faint almond-like odor.
More importantly, the benzalkonium chloride solutions have surfactant properties which allow the dissolution of the lipid phase of a teat film and increase the drug penetration. This also makes it useful as an excipient. However, it may have an increased risk of damage to the surface of the eye.
What is the Difference Between Benzethonium Chloride and Benzalkonium Chloride?
Benzethonium chloride is a quaternary ammonium salt that is synthetic, whereas benzalkonium chloride is a type of cationic surfactant. The key difference between benzethonium chloride and benzalkonium chloride is that benzethonium chloride is produced as a white solid, whereas benzalkonium chloride in its pure form is colorless, and under the presence of impurities it appears in a pale yellow color.
The below infographic lists more differences between benzethonium chloride and benzalkonium chloride in tabular form for side by side comparison.
Summary – Benzethonium Chloride vs Benzalkonium Chloride
The key difference between benzethonium chloride and benzalkonium chloride is that benzethonium chloride is produced as a white solid whereas benzalkonium chloride in its pure form is colorless, and under the presence of impurities, it appears in a pale yellow color.
1. “Benzethonium Chloride.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Database, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
1. “Benzalkonium chloride Structure V.1” By Jü assumed – No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims) (CC0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Benzethonium-chloride-2D-skeletal” (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia