The nitrate of this base (known as nitron) is so insoluble that nitrates may be gravimetrically estimated with its help. These bases combine with the alkyl iodides to yield quaternary ammonium salts.
The tertiary amines possess the power of combining with one molecular proportion of an alkyl iodide to form quaternary ammonium salts.
They are ionized in aqueous solution to a much greater extent than ammonia, the quaternary ammonium bases being the most ionized, and the secondary bases being more strongly ionized than the primary or tertiary bases.
By the action of ammonia on the alkyl iodides a complex mixture of primary, secondary and tertiary amines, along with a quaternary ammonium salt, is obtained, the separation of which is difficult.
If the nitrogen atom in the quaternary ammonium salts be in combination with four different groups, then the molecule is asymmetrical, and the salt can be resolved into optically active enantiamorphous isomerides.