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Sci.chem FAQ - Part 3 of 7

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Archive-name: sci/chem-faq/part3
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Last-modified: 22 October 1999
Version: 1.17


Subject: 11. Traditional Specialist Chemical Information Sources
     
11.1  Where can I find spectral libraries/databases? 

The most likely place is near to an instrument. These are not usually
in general technical libraries, but are kept near the instruments.
A polite request to the person in charge of the instrument should identify
who to contact for permission to use the library or database. There is
some spectral information in reference texts, such as the Rubber Handbook
and the Merck Index, but most compilations are now so large that they cover 
several volumes. There are several compilations that are available 
commercially, either in hard copy (HC) or CD-ROM (CD) - which is usually 
more expensive because of the included searching software. Chemical 
manufacturers, such as Aldrich, may also sell spectral libraries, eg 
IR $495(HC) [1], FT-IR $875(HC) or $1578(CD) [2], 60MHz H1 NMR $495(HC) [3], 
and 300MHz H1 + 75MHz C13 NMR $1072(HC) [4], as well as offering 
compilations from government agencies, eg the NIST/EPA/NIH Mass Spectral 
database $1320(CD)[5]. The databases are also sold by several instrument 
manufacturers. One commercial supplier of spectral information ( Fiveash 
Data Management, Inc. ) may be accessible via the Internet [6].

11.2  Where can I find polymer chemistry information?

The first stop should be the multi-volume Encyclopedia of Polymer Science 
and Engineering [7], which should be in most technical libraries. Specific
polymers are covered in much less detail in Kirk Othmer. There are
several journals devoted to polymer science and chemistry, including the
Journal of Polymer Science.

11.3  Where can I find analytical chemistry information?
     
There is a sci.chem.analytical group where specific questions can be
posted after you have attempted to find the information in the following 
sources. For qualitative information, the spot test books by Fiegl [8,9] 
and "Semi-micro Vogel"[10], are good starting points. For introductory
quantitative analysis, "Quantitative Inorganic" [11],"Practical Organic 
Chemistry"[12] by Vogel are good introductions to non-instrumental 
techniques. The multi-volume "Treatise on Analytical Chemistry" by
Kolthoff and Elving [13] comprehensively discusses most techniques, and 
several volumes of the ACS Series "Techniques in Chemistry" [14] also cover
analytical procedures. " Instrumental Methods of Analysis" by Willard,
Merritt, Dean and Settle [15], and "Analytical Instrumentation Handbook" by
Ewing [16] provide a good introduction to chemical instrumentation. Most 
educational institutions will have equivalent texts if they are not using the 
above.

For specific analyses it is often desirable to use standard procedures,
especially if your laboratory is seeking ISO 9001 accreditation, or if the
results are likely to be disputed. Some well known compilations of standard 
methods include:-

Laboratory Reagents
- usually specified by manufacturers or chemical societies
  BDH 'Analar' Standards for Laboratory Chemicals [17]
  ACS Reagent Chemicals [18]

Materials, Industrial Chemicals, and Finished Products.
- usually the monographs in the following volumes also specify assay and 
  impurity limits, as well as detailing the analytical procedure.
  ASTM - Issued annually, cover physical and chemical testing of a wide range
         of industrial products. Often require specialised test equipment.
  ISO - International standards, usually derived from US(ASTM), UK(BSI) or
        FRG(DIN) standards. Similar to above.

Pharmaceuticals
- usually the pharmacopoeia have monographs and methods, but some methods
  are also specified in National Formulary or Pharmaceutical Codex volumes,
  which may be separate from the pharmacopoeia.
- common pharmacopoeia are USP, BP, and EP - with Martindale [19] often used 
  to ascertain where and when a specific monograph appeared.   

Food 
- often the procedures specified in Government legislation.
- The Official Methods of the AOAC [20] covers many routine US methods.

Environmental Pollution
- the procedures are usually specified in the relevant legislation, and
  frequently US EPA procedures are used. Several common EPA procedures are 
  now available on computer disk [21,22].

Petroleum
- usually covered by ASTM, ISO or DIN, but there are some unique IP 
  ( Institute of Petroleum - UK ) procedures that are also used.
- "Chromatography in Petroleum Analysis"[23], summarises popular techniques.

Gases
- instrument manufacturers have fairly detailed procedures for process gases.
- "The Analysis of Gases by Chromatography"[24], provides useful examples. 

Water and Wastewater
- the APHA/WWA/WPCF standard methods are most often used [25]
- many tests are also covered by ASTM, ISO, and DIN procedures
- alternative techniques are described in "Water Analysis" [26]
- organics in water are covered by Crompton [27]
- most aspects of water chemistry are detailed in Franks [28]

Sample Preparation
- consumable and instrument manufacturers often provide detailed manuals
  and guides free.
- "Methods of Decomposition in Inorganic Analysis" [29] covers a wide range
  of preparations for spectroscopy.
- The "Handbook of Analytical Derivatization Reactions" [30] and the 
  " Handbook of Derivatives for Chromatography" [31] cover many of the 
  techniques for gas and liquid chromatography.

Obviously there are several journals devoted to various aspects of 
analytical chemistry. The April issue of Analytical Chemistry publishes  
a review of papers published during the previous two years. The review 
alternates between Fundamental and Application Reviews and is a quick means 
of catching current trends if you are unable to locate an expert.     

11.4  Where can I find environmental chemistry information?

There are several standard texts used by environmental chemistry classes 
that provide good general introductions, eg "Environmental Chemistry" [32]
"Fundamentals of Environmental Chemistry [33], and "Environmental Organic 
Chemistry" [34]. They should be available in most technical libraries. The 
monthly journal "Environmental Science and Technology" covers most aspects 
of environment chemistry. "Chemosphere" concentrates on toxins such as PCBs 
and Dioxin, and " Science of the Total Environment also covers many aspects. 
Government agencies such as the EPA also publish large amounts of 
information, and many environmental groups also provide significant amounts 
of technical information. There are a range of specialist texts that cover 
specific pollutants, eg "Metals and their Compounds in the Environment: 
Occurrence, Analysis and Biological Relevance" [35].

The sci.environment Usenet group may well be a better place to request
environmental chemistry information than sci.chem, but please remember 
to move discussions to talk.environment. 

11.5  Where can I find physical chemistry information? 

General introductory information will be available in any technical library
where chemistry is taught, and one of the more popular modern texts is 
"Physical Chemistry" by P.W.Atkins [36], and a classical text is
"Textbook of Physical Chemistry" by S.Glasstone [37]. The multi-volume ACS 
series "Physical Methods of Chemistry"[38] also covers many physical 
chemistry techniques. There are also the Journal of Chemical Physics and the 
Journal of Physical Chemistry. Frankly, I would not have a clue where else 
to go.
     
11.6  Where can I find inorganic chemistry information?

General introductory information will be available in any technical library
where chemistry is taught. One popular text is "Inorganic Chemistry" by
D.F.Shriver, P.W.Atkins, and C.H.Langford [39], which also has the answers 
available as a separate book. "Inorganic Vogel"[40], also discusses the theory
of the analyses. There are three major multi-volume inorganic encyclopedias. 
Mellor is frequently found in public libraries, and provides a broad cover
of the field, however the more comprehensive is Gmelin [41], which will be 
available in most institution libraries. The more recent developments and 
mechanisms are covered in the multi-volume "Encyclopedia of Inorganic
Chemistry" [42], which may be difficult to find due to its $2500 price. 
"Advanced Inorganic Chemistry" [43] by F.A.Cotton and G.Wilkinson provides a 
good base to start. There are several journals that cover aspects of 
inorganic chemistry.

11.7  Where can I find organic chemistry information?

General introductory information will be available in any technical library
where chemistry is taught. One popular modern text is " Organic Chemistry " 
by T.W.G.Solomons [44], but my favourite is "Organic Chemistry"[45] by Fieser
and Fieser - a much more practical discussion of organic molecules. 
Once you are familiar with organic chemistry mechanisms then "Advanced
Organic Chemistry" by Carey and Sandberg [46] is a good overview.  

There are several compilations of organic synthesis techniques to assist
researchers. The multi-volume sets "Organic Reactions" [47], and "Reagents 
for Organic Synthesis" [48], are examples of sets that will be available from 
institution libraries. There are some good theoretical texts available, eg
"The Logic of Chemical Synthesis" [49]. For specific preparation and 
properties of individual compounds, then Heilbron [50] and Beilstein [51], 
are the initial resources of choice. There are several journals devoted to 
organic chemistry in general, including Journal of Organic Chemistry, 
Tetrahedron, etc.. Specific branches of organic chemistry, such as 
Carbohydrates, Lipids, or Proteins have their own journals, as do 
applications such as pharmaceuticals and pesticides.   
  
11.8  Where can I find industrial chemistry information? 

The best single volume remains Shreve's "Chemical Process Industries" [52].
There are three major multi-volume encyclopedias, Kirk Othmer, Ullmann,
and McKetta, that cover many aspects of industrial chemistry and at
least one is usually available in a public library. There are also several
journals that provide good overviews of industrial chemistry, the easiest
to read being C&EN, and Chemtech. Research is usually published
in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry ( which is an excellent source 
for historical research ),  and specialist chemical engineering journals.

11.9  Where can I find pharmaceutical chemistry information?  
  
Pharmaceutical research often is initially reported in patent literature,
consequently patent searching is a good place to start. The Merck Index is
focused on pharmaceuticals, and also provides excellent leads to the 
research literature. There are several pharmaceutical chemistry books, such 
as Goodman and Gilman [53], and "Essentials of Medicinal Chemistry" [54], 
that provide overviews of the field. The Journal of Pharmaceutical Chemistry 
is a good source for research articles. Details of chemicals appearing in 
formulated products can be found in the "Handbook of Pharmaceutical 
Excipients" [55].

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