Typical Catalyst Structure
The catalysts used in our process are quaternary ammonium or phosphonim salts
or 'quats'. They have four ligands attached to a central atom of either nitrogen
or phosphorus. The fourth ligand gives rise to a positively charged cation that
is balanced by a negatively charged anion, such as bromide or chloride. This
cationic-anionic characteristic coupled with its organic nature provides a unique
set of features that enable the quat to complex with a water soluble anion.
The figure shows methyltributylammonium chloride. Another
very popular quat is methyltrioctylammonium chloride.