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ChEE 442: Chemical Engineering Design Principles

Engineering Librarian & CAPLA Liaison

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Paula C Johnson
Main Library A403

Chemical Pricing

If you are looking for smaller quantities of a chemical, for example purchasing by the gram, or kilogram, chemical pricing is usually easy to obtain. You can look to any individual chemical vendor for pricing, Some of these vendors include:

  • Fisher Scientific A major supplier of chemical and reagents for laboratory use.
  • Millipore Sigma Catalog Search by catalog number, name, formula, CAS registry number and more. Also contains some chemical/physical property information, FT-IR and NMR spectra, and MSDS. Registration is required to view some information.
  • TCI America Provider of laboratory chemicals, fine and specialty chemicals, and custom synthesized compounds. Also includes links to the spectral information from SDBS.

Finding prices for bulk chemicals has always been a challenge. Prices for bulk chemicals (e.g., 1 metric ton) are significantly different from finding laboratory chemical prices (i.e., one cannot just multiply 1 kg price found in a catalog by 1,000 and obtain a realistic price for a metric ton). Bulk chemical vendors have monetized the cost data, hoping that once a user buys cost information, they will buy their chemicals from that same source. Historical price information can be found, and using a mathematical formula, one may extrapolate a current price.

This broad list of chemical prices is taken from the 28 August 2006 issue of Chemical Market Reporter (now rebranded and incorporated into ICIS Chemical Business). The list consists of static price indications from that issue. Products marked with an asterisk (*) have been updated to give indicative prices for 2008; those marked + were updated to give indicative prices for 2007.

This is another resource for historical price information.

Adjusting Older Chemical Prices Using a PPI

Current bulk chemical prices can be estimated by adjusting older chemical prices to current levels using a Producer Price Index (PPI).  The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis lists a number of Producer Price Indices for Chemicals and Allied Products.                                    

Current  Price = Older Price x [(Cost Index at Newer Date) / (Cost Index at Older Date)]

You can also try to find a current price from the following sources. However you choose to establish your bulk costs, keep consistent with your methodology.

(Available online from 2007) - Each issue has a "Chemical Prices" or "Chemical Profile" section for a handful of commodity chemicals. Enter the chemical name in the "Search within this publication" box to search for price info

Weekly prices per metric ton.