Finding commercial sources of chemicals can be a challenge. Numerous sources are available at the NCSU Libraries, but different sources specialize in different information.

The following table lists sources for chemical manufacturers, distributors, and pricing.


Sources for chemical pricing and buying information

Sources with pricing information -
usually for laboratory (not bulk) quantities

Source

Available online?

Pricing information?

Notes

SciFinder

Yes

Yes, for small quantities

Search by chemical to find suppliers. See detailed instructions below.

Reaxys

Yes

Yes, for small quantities

Search by chemical to find suppliers.

ICIS static price list

Yes

Yes, outdated. See Notes.

Look for a chemical to find its price from 2006. Site provides only static price list from 2006, presented as sample information. Use them for a class project, not for a business decision!

Aldrich

Yes

Yes, for small quantities

Find property information for chemicals. Pricing available for small quantities.

United States Geological Survey

Yes

Limited

Information on mineral production and commerce. Some pricing information is available.

Business Source Premier

Yes

Possibly

Chemical industry information. Company and industry profiles and articles.

Chemical Economics Handbook

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No longer available through the NCSU Libraries. Please use the other sources listed on this page.

Sources without pricing information -
use these to identify chemical manufacturers or distributors

Chem sources-U.S.A.

Yes

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Search by chemical to find suppliers. Important for large-scale buying ("I need a tanker truck of a chemical"). Online access only available on campus.

OPD chemical buyers directory

Yes

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Search by chemical to find suppliers. Online through ICIS product search or in print.

Specialty chemicals sourcebook

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Print only. Find information on specialty chemicals. Often provides a manufacturer as well. Has a unique index for looking up chemicals by function & application.

Directory of chemical producers, United States of America

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Look up a chemical to find anufacturers. Print only.

ICIS Chemical Business

Yes

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Chemical industry trade journal. May have relevant articles.

Other guides for chemical pricing information

UT Libraries University of Texas Libraries Chemical Engineering Economics page

Cornell LibrariesCornell University Library Guides

Can I contact a company to ask for a price quote?

Students looking for pricing information for a class project might also consider contacting a seller found in the databases above. Seniors especially may use this as a good opportunity to get some useful experience. However, realize that when you contact a company, you are implying some willingness to do professional business with them. Let them know you are a student and be mindful of their time.

Notes on pricing information

Why isn't pricing information more readily available? A few reasons.

  • Exact pricing can be valuable business information. This means it's neither free nor published widely.
  • Prices and markets change constantly, and the price may be different depending on whether you want a small laboratory quantity or a bulk industrial quantity.
  • Freely available online sources for this information tend to be businesses that want you to contact them for a price quote. They want to know about potential clients!

Notes on finding commercial sources in SciFinder:

SciFinder iconsFrom start, click Explore Substances.

  • Select Substance Identifier
  • Enter search terms
    • CAS number is most concise and uniquely identifies a substance
    • Common names or other identifiers usually work
  • The icons in Figure 1 will appear if there is available information.
  • Click the Commercial Sources icon to get a list of commercial sources. No icon means no listed commercial sources.
    • SOME of the listings will have price information. Best way to find them: click Export and choose the Microsoft Excel format. Name the file and either open or save. The second tab on this file will be labeled with a CAS number. You can find and sort the price column.