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Finding Bulk Chemical Prices
Important: bulk chemical prices
There is no single authoritative list of prices for bulk chemicals. Bulk chemical prices are negotiated between the buyer and seller and are often kept confidential. Most suppliers do not share a pricelist for their bulk chemicals.
- Prices differ according to manufacturer, location, quantity, grade, delivery mode, time of year, and other variables.
- Some chemical prices are volatile and change daily; others may be stable over long periods of time.
- For assignments, it may be better to consider average prices over several months, rather than only looking at today’s price.
- You should avoid using lab-quantity prices for plant estimation purposes.
Students usually gather pricing information from trade publications, web searches, and tools like Discovery. Some useful sources are given on this page. Ask your campus librarian for help if you cannot find the information you need.
Sources of Bulk Chemical Prices
Chemical Availability Search
Chemical Availability Search has data about chemical suppliers and costs of chemicals, including some bulk pricing information.
Tip: sort by price and look at the cheapest to find bulk quantities. Sorting the quantity column does not work well as it does account for the different units of measurement.
You will need to create an account to use the Chemical Availability Search.
On the login page, do not use the "access through your institution link" or the username and password boxes. Instead click on register (at the bottom right of the page) and create an account. You'll need to use your Heriot-Watt email address to register.
An international “yellow pages” site listing thousands of suppliers of chemicals. Can be quicker/easier to search than SciFinder-n, but the companies rarely give bulk pricing information publicly on their websites, and might not respond to enquiries from students.
Adjusting older prices
Producer Price Index for Chemicals (US)
Price cost index for chemicals. This could be used for updating older bulk chemical prices. NB This is based on the US government Producer Price Index, so should only be used to adjust US prices.
Prices tend to be for lab quantities (>20kg) rather than bulk.
Merck, Sigma-Adrich and Millipore are now all part of the same group of companies.
SciFinder-n has pricing information from manufacturers' catalogues. A separate step-by-step guide on how to find pricing information in SciFinder-n is available at http://isguides.hw.ac.uk/scifinder-n/prices . NB Much of the SciFinder-n pricing information is for lab quantities rather than industrial quantities.
Suppliers of bacteria, fungi, yeast, etc. US-based. Lab quantities.
Help at your local campus
Academic Support and Liaison Librarian (EPS and ICIT)
Subjects: Brewing and Distilling
, Chemical Engineering
, Electrical, Electronic & Computer Engineering
, Human Health and Disease
, ICIT (International Centre for Island Technology)
, Marine, Environment & Climate Change (MECC)
, Mechanical Engineering
, Renewable Energy