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Chemistry MASTER Reference Book/Website - is there something out there?

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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 18, 2012 4:14:01 AM PST
C. Creviston says:
I'm interested in a book (or website?) geared towards the professional/academia chemistry community that provides detailed information on most common compounds used in the contemporary practice of chemistry (and certain that a book/site with only 2,000+ chemicals is just scratching the surface). To elaborate on what I mean, for every compound in this book, you would get a healthy inventory of technical data points about the compound, supporting visual aids as well a distillation (no pun intended) of its MSDS content. The final collection of information on each compound would include the commonly accepted procedures for synthesizing the compound (both at a industrial and non-industrial scale). That final piece would be the procedure(s) for synthesizing that compound, in my opinion, this last part would be the real gem.

To my knowledge, the closest proxy for a book that captures the information I described MINUS procedures on how to synthesize popular compounds would be the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics.

My hunch is something this amazing thats updated every year doesn't exist and this information is still fragmented across the collective knowledge base of the professional/academic chemistry community but I'd LOVE if someone can tell me I'm wrong and point me towards the book (or website) on commonly practiced procedures for synthesizing thousands of contemporary chemical compounds using other compounds.


In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2012 8:34:25 AM PST
Merck Index. I find this more useful than the CRC Handbook in my science writing/editing.
The Merck Index: An Encyclopedia of Chemicals, Drugs, and Biologicals (Merck Index: Encyclopedia of Chemicals, Drugs & Biologicals)
Updated every few years.
Does not include synthesis information, but provides references to original literature on the compound.

Posted on Dec 18, 2012 8:41:01 AM PST
C. Creviston says:
Thanks! I saw this book (plus theres a pretty decent sounding Chemical Engineers Handbook) but so far all seem absent of dedicated synthesis procedures. Doesn't look like a book with the supporting synthesis information has been published but I wanted to check with other readers out there.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2012 8:52:44 AM PST
Any publication that has all of the synthesis info you'd like would be multi-volumes. See for example "Beilsteins Handbuch der Organischen Chemie." For all that information, you'd need to subscribe to an online (and probably expensive) database.

Posted on Dec 19, 2012 5:53:06 AM PST
Ambulocetus says:
Along similar lines, I am researching a 19th century paleontologist who uses a lot of chemistry analogies (don't ask). One thing which really revs his motor is the idea of homologous and heterologous series of chemical compounds. Is there a contemporary book or similar resource which lays out a comprehensive table for these sets of series, or does this heuristic not really get used anymore by real chemists?


In reply to an earlier post on Dec 19, 2012 10:45:25 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 19, 2012 10:46:32 AM PST
Although I am a chemist, the term "heterologous series" was a new one on me. When I looked it up, the term made sense though. I can't really imagine where you'd find tables of such series, though. This kind of classification or taxonomy of compounds I suspect is out of fashion in modern (organic) chemistry which has an emphasis on properties and mechanisms. Maybe an organic textbook from the 30s-50s would have a stronger emphasis on these classifications.
[EDIT] Looks like someone doesn't approve of this discussion. Amazing!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 21, 2012 6:12:51 AM PST
Ambulocetus says:
Haters gonna hate. I don't know what they're hating, exactly, but haters gonna hate.

Interesting that these series are so little used anymore in chemistry.

Posted on Feb 1, 2013 11:08:27 PM PST
C. Creviston says:
For the record, I did find what I was looking for: Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology
It's unfortunately not offered at a price point that most individuals could entertain at $547.20 for a 2-volume reference set; this publication/subscription service is certainly targeted at labs, academic institutions and the like. But it looks like you could obtain some select sections directly from the publisher's website:
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Discussion in:  Science forum
Participants:  3
Total posts:  8
Initial post:  Dec 18, 2012
Latest post:  Feb 1, 2013

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