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Chemical Engineering

Research guide for library and internet information resources in Chemical Engineering.

Chemical Trade Magazines

Trade magazines cover information about a specific industry and include articles on marketing, news, sales, careers, and other topics of current interest to that industry.  The primary trade magazines for the chemical industry are:

  • Chemical and Engineering News
    Has an annual Employment Outlook issue usually in November.  Older issues had a "Top 50 Chemicals" list but this list is no longer being published.   ASU Library currently has a print subscription to this journal; starting in 2017 we will stop the print subscription and switch over to the online edition (C&EN Online) available via the ACS publications website.  If you are a member of the American Chemical Society the online edition is already available to you (have your ACS member ID handly).
     
  • Chemical Engineering
    Has periodic employment outlook; regular columns about:
    • Economic Indicators (usually includes CEPCI: Chemical Engineering Plant Cost Index)
    • Facts At Your Fingertips
    • Focus On ...
    • New Products
    • People
       
  • Chemical Week 
    • Basic chemicals and plastics
    • Chemical Stock Update
       
  • ICIS Chemical Business 
    Regular columns include:
    • Chemical Profile (An indepth look at the market for a specific chemical)
      An index to the Chemical Profile column is maintained by David Flaxbart at UT Austin; in some cases what is essentially a "chemical profile" can be found in the section labelled "Databank"
    • Energy News and Data (Global price movements for energy markets).
    • Market Trends and Data (Global price movements in key commodity chemicals)
    • New Projects
    • People

Researching the Chemical Industry

To research the chemical industry, see the "Gathering Information About Your Industry" page on the "Business Basics" library guide.  This page provides a list of business databases that can be used to research an industry but most importantly, it also has a flowchart that outlines the steps involved and what resources to use at each step in the process.

Need more help with this process?  Contact one of the business librarians listed on the Business Basics guide.

Researching a Chemical Company

To find information about a specific company, consult the "Researching Your Company" page on the "Business Basics" library guide.  Not only does this page list business databases that contain company information it also links to a flowchart outlining the steps involved in researching a company and what databases to use at each step.

Researching a Specific Chemical

To find information about the production, sales, pricing, and market of a specific chemical or group of chemicals, use:

  • ABI/Inform
    ABI/Inform covers the chemical trade magazines for business information.  For large production chemicals and those in common use, search by the chemical's name and if more than one name is commonly used, search for each of the names.    Less common chemicals may not be specifically addressed in trade publications but may be covered within a group such as adhesives, aerosols, alkylation catalysts, fertilizers, petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, refrigerants, etc., so also try searching for the appropriate category of substances.

Finding Chemical Suppliers and Prices

Chemical pricing information has become difficult to determine as many previous sources of this information (ex., the trade magazine listed above) are no longer providing it to libraries but rather send the information directly to subscribing individuals or corporations.  For current prices of chemicals, try supplier's websites first.   

  • Selected Major Chemical Suppliers' Product Directories:
  • Looking for a Supplier for a Chemical? Try these directories:
  • SciFinder Web (ChemCat)
    Suppliers for chemicals may be found using the ChemCat section of SciFinder.  Although there is section for pricing in each ChemCat record, many suppliers opt out by putting "Contact Supplier", rather than the purchase price.   Because of the limited access to SciFinder and because of the small amount of pricing information in the database, we recommend this as the very last resort for chemical pricing information. 

    Once in the database, click on the "Explore Substances" link at the top of the screen, after the screen refreshes click on "Substance Identifier" in the left column, enter the chemical's exact name or CAS Registry Number, click on the commerical sources link in the substance results list, and finally, click on the company name to see the full record. 

 

The following databases cover what little pricing information is still available in trade magazines: 

  • ABI/Inform
    Use ABI/Inform to search the trade magazines for information on pricing, productions, sales, etc.  For large production chemicals and those in common use, search by the chemical's name and if more than one is commonly used, search for each of the names.    Less common chemicals may not be specifically addressed in trade publications but rather are covered as a group, for example, alkylation catalysts, fertilizers, petroleum products, adhesives, anti-depressants, pharmaceuticals, etc.  Unfortunately, many of the chemical industry magazines either no longer carry pricing information or they have severely cut back on the amount of information carried in their publication. 
     
  • Business Insights: Global
    Use Business Insights: Global to search the trade magazines for information on pricing, productions, sales, etc.  For large production chemicals and those in common use, search by the chemical's name and if more than one is commonly used, search for each of the names.    Less common chemicals may not be specifically addressed in trade publications but rather are covered as a group, for example, alkylation catalysts, fertilizers, petroleum products, adhesives, anti-depressants, pharmaceuticals, etc.  Unfortunately, many of the chemical industry magazines either no longer carry pricing information or they have severely cut back on the amount of information carried in their publication. 

For historical prices of chemicals:

  • Use ABI/Inform to search the chemical trade magazines from previous years
     
  • ICIS (formerly Chemical Market/Marketing Reporter): Historical Prices
    In their Student section, ICIS provides a list of chemicals with prices from 2006-2008.
     
  • Chemical pricing patterns: comparisons of annual high and low prices for 1,250 key chemicals and related process materials for the years of 1952 through 1970.   HD9651.4 .C55 1971 Storage
    To recall this item from storage, click on the title; this will take you to the catalog record for this item; click on the blue request button near the top of the record.    

Intellectual Property (Patents)

To find information on how many patents have been issued and to what companies, see the "Statistics" page on the "Patents" library guide.

Business Plans

Need help creating a business plan?

Business Plan Template
Business Plans Handbook. Gale, 2010. Vol. 16:147-150. (Gale Virtual Reference Library) 

Examples of Business Plans:

For more resources on writing on a business plan, see the Sources and Sample Plans page of the Business and Marketing Plans guide.

Your Librarian

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Sam Dyal
Contact:
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samuel.dyal@asu.edu

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