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Cetrimonium bromide

Cetrimonium bromide
IUPAC name hexadecyl-trimethyl-ammonium bromide
CAS number 57-09-0
PubChem 5974
Molecular formula C19H42BrN
Molar mass 364.448
Melting point


Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

Infobox disclaimer and references

Cetrimonium bromide ((C16H33)N(CH3)3Br) is one of the components of the topical antiseptic cetrimide. The cetrimonium (or hexadecyltrimethylammmonium) cation is an effective antiseptic agent against bacteria and fungi.

It is a cationic surfactant. Its uses include providing a buffer solution for the extraction of DNA. It is also widely used in hair conditioning products.

As any surfactant, it forms micelles in aqueous solutions. At 303 K (30 °C) it forms micelles with aggregation number 75-120 (depending on method of determination, usually avg. ~95) and degree of ionization α (fractional charge) 0.2 - 0.1 (from low to high concentration).

Standard constant of Br- counterion binding to the micelle at 303 K (30 °C), calculated from Br- and CTA+ ion selective electrode measurements and conductometry data by using literature data for micelle size (r = ~3 nm), extrapolated to the critical micelle concentration is K° ≈ 400 (it varies with total surfactant concentration so it is extrapolated to the point at which the concentration of micelles is zero).

The closely related compounds cetrimonium chloride and cetrimonium stearate are also used as topic antiseptics, and may be found in many household products such as shampoos and cosmetics.

See also


  • Merck Index, 11th Edition, 2019.
  • Drug information
  • Chemicalland21
  • Household Products data base for cetrimonium chloride
  • Household Products data base for cetrimonium bromide
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Cetrimonium_bromide". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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