ACS Reagent Chemicals is an authoritative reference guide that defines approved specifications (limits) and procedures (methods) for assessing the purity of chemicals used in critical applications. The specifications and tests for standard grade reference materials are also defined for important classes of chemicals, like explosives and pesticides. For almost 100 years, the ACS Committee on Analytical Reagents has developed, vetted, and managed the independent verification of these methods and specifications.
When a chemical that is tested using ACS-approved methods meets the ACS-defined purity specifications, it can be labeled and sold as “ACS Reagent Grade”. These chemicals are available from a number of manufacturers worldwide and are sometimes produced in-house by organizations that purchase commodity grade chemicals and then apply additional purification steps. “ACS Grade,” as it is known, is widely considered the gold standard for purity, so much so that other regulatory agencies require its use in industries like pharma and aerospace where safety is top priority. Only highly specialized grades of chemicals (which are often extremely expensive) surpass ACS grade.
ACS Reagent Chemicals continues to invest in improving content as well as the platform. The new online version was developed to make it as easy as possible for the practicing chemist to get accurate and current information. The new version recognizes that we are all creatures of habit and convenience and analytical chemists are no exception. It is designed to be integrated into workflows so that one’s established routine can be interrupted when necessary.
ACS Reagent Chemicals also recognizes that the chemical industry produces thousands of tons of ACS Grade chemicals each year. Changing the standards upon which these are manufactured can have a dramatic impact on cost and companies need time to integrate change into production. To mitigate impact, and when safety and feasibility allow, ACS Reagent Chemicals now pre-publishes “future versions” of content with six months advanced notice.
Where does new content come from? ACS Reagent Chemicals is updated twice a year following formal Committee meetings and allows for several urgent updates throughout the year. These urgent updates could be needed due to a change in a required chemical’s availability, or something as simple as the correction of a typo. In addition to content changes, ACS Reagent Chemicals continues to invest in the platform that guides scientists through using this content.
Summary of Recent Enhancements to ACS Reagent Chemicals
- ACS Reagent Chemicals now maintains three versions of all monographs (the finite element that defines the specs and methods for one reagent or procedure). This includes a future version, a current version, and a past version. All versions are interlinked and available with one subscription.
- All changes are tracked globally and cumulatively in a table that can be downloaded at any time. For each reagent, a summary of historic changes is also posted above the monograph, informing chemists immediately of any change that may affect their habits. Soon, users will be able to sign up to receive alerts regarding updates by email.
- All molecular structures were updated and all of the thousand plus equations are available in MathJax, making them downloadable and more broadly accessible.
- Readers get access to both PDF and interactive HTML versions off all monographs. Readers tend to favor the HTML version because scientists say it helps them ensure that they are using the most up-to-date content. When they download and save a PDF, they are not as connected to the “living” resource.
- ACS Reagent Chemicals added its first “future version” monograph on Aug 1, 2018.
- Almost 90 content updates have been made in the past year.
- Counter compliant usage stats are now available for librarians.
The online version is now the version of record. If your library serves analytical chemists or any chemist who takes on the task of purifying and assessing their own chemicals, ACS Reagent Chemicals is a must-have for your collection. It is available by simple and affordable annual subscription.