Disinfection has been assumed to be a first-order process since Chick published "An Investigation of the Laws of Disinfection" (Chick, 1908). The studies described in this paper were conducted to determine whether 2 quaternary ammonium salts conform with this concept of a first-order reaction and also whether concentration and thermal coefficients can be determined for these compounds.
The quaternary ammonium salts are becoming increasingly popular as bactericidal agents. Because they are be- colorless, stable, and relatively nontoxic, they have lent themselves to clinical as well as industrial uses where efficient bactericides are needed. Current thought, therefore, has been completely focused on in-use applications. This is reflected in the literature in a plethora of articles on the evaluation of these compounds in innumerable situations, while little attention has been given to the basic process of disinfection.
The 2 quaternary ammonium salts were used in a study of organisms exposed to the