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CHE 432: Principles of Chemical Engineering Design

Library and internet resources for CHE 432 assignments.

On this page ...

Middle Column
-- Introduction
-- Know What You Need
-- Know Where to Look
------- Handbooks
------- Bibliographic Indexes
------- Full Text
-- Need More Help?


Property data can be some of the most difficult information to find.  

There are many resources to look in and because each chemical substance and property may be called many different names, each resource must be searched by each of those different terms.  Even more disconcerting - there's no guarantee the property data you want has ever been determined (either experimentally or theoretically), so when you don't find the information is it because the data doesn't exist or is it because you aren't looking in the right place and/or using the right terminology?  

Below you'll find instructions on what resources to use and what search terms and strategies to look for.  These tips may help you be more succesful in your search and to spend less time doing it.

Know What You Need

Do you know what you're looking for and will you recognize when you see it? 

To find property data you need to know the following before you start your search:

  • Synonyms - Is there different terminology that describes the same property?  If there are synonyms, you must search each of those synonyms in every resource you try.   It's time consuming but a necessity; you don't know which term is being used in resource until you try to find it.  So when looking for the heat of formation of a substance, don't forget that the resource may call it enthalpy of formation and so you need to search that term also.   Many of the handbooks listed below will help you find the different terminology for each substance and property.

  • Symbol/Unit of Measurement - Many resources, especially handbooks in a print format, display property data using the property symbol and units in the table headers rather than the terminology.  If you search by words and are sent to a table in which you can't find those words, look for the symbols of that property.  Ex. enthalpy of formation = ΔH°f kJ/mol (or ΔH°f kcal/mol, etc.)   Many of the handbooks listed below will help you find the symbol and units for your property. 
  • Formula - What is the formula for that property?  If you can't find the property value itself, can you find the formula components so that the property can be calculated?

Where to Look ... Handbooks

When property data is frequently used, a publication may be created that brings together all the data from the literature into one place - these publications may be handbooks (a single volume work summarizing a subject, especially formulas and data) or simply a data compilation in print (tables) or database format. 

Online Sources:

  1. Knovel
  2. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics
  3. NIST Chemistry WebBook
  4. NIST Data Gateway
  5. SciFinder
    To find the property data: Click on Explore Substances link at the top -> Click on Substance Identifer link in the left column -> Enter substance name -> In results list, click on Substance Detail link for the appropriate substance -> Scroll page down to Predicated and Experimental Properties sections.  To see the article/patent/report from which that data was taken, click on the number in the right hand column for the row.

In the Library:

  1. CRC Handbook of Thermophysical and Thermochemical Data
    QC173.397 L53 1994
  2. Lange's Handbook of Chemistry
    QD 65 .L36
    2017 edition in Access Engineering 
  3. NIST-JANAF Thermochemical Tables
    QD511 .N57x 1998 
    An old, 1985 edition of this is available online.  
  4. Perry's Chemical Engineers' Handbook
    TP151 .P45 2008 
    2019 edition in Access Engineering
  5. Properties of Gases and Liquids
    TP242 .P62 2001
    Also in Access Engineering
  6. Thermophysical Properties of Matter
    QC173.397 .P87
  7. Vapor-Liquid Equilibrium Data Collection
    QD503 .G59
  8. And check the ASU Library's catalog for more handbooks:

Where to Look ... Bibliographic Indexes

Some bibliographic indexes have "added value" indexing which can help retrieve journal articles that contain property data, especially if the property is a major concept of the article.

In addition to using SciFinder's data compilation for each substance, you can also use the regular searching features to find other possible articles/patents/reports for the property. 

  1. For simple, one-word substances, you can use the Research Topic search, type in the "property of the substance" (ex. density of acetone);

  2. For more complex named substances, click on "Substance Identifer" under "Substances" in the left-hand column.  Enter substance name in the search box; in the results list, click on the "Properties" link underneath the substance box to see data that SciFinder has compiled on that chemical; use the References link to search the literature by keyword. 

Where to Look ... Full Text Searching

Searching the full text of journal articles can help you find property data that is "buried" deep within articles and is especially useful for finding data that is not a major concept of the article.

Need More Help?

Having trouble with any of the resources on this guide? 

Contact your librarians with related expertise, OR use the ASU Library's "Ask a Librarian" service.

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