There are a small number of primary chemical vendors serving the industry. These include companies such as Sigma Aldrich, Spectrum Chemical, Alfa Aesar, ThermoFisher and many others. There are also thousands of smaller companies serving the industry with their chemicals. These can very from a dozen to a few hundred chemicals but rarely number into the 10s of thousands offered by the larger companies. The large chemical companies offer excellent services in terms of delivery of catalogs to the door and circulation of updated CDs of information. I find the Aldrich catalog an excellent tool and have one on my desk, underneath my Merck Index.

Those smaller chemical companies are in the long tail of suppliers that the majority of chemists will never even hear of. Not unless there is some way for those suppliers to deliver their message regarding their list of products, availability and overall their existence, to interested parties. In China specifically there are many hundreds of small chemical companies popping up now. They cannot afford to market themselves via CD distribution and catalogs to their potential userbase and have to depend on their website to market their wares. They likely deposit their collections to the Available Chemical Directory from Symyx (a GREAT product and with a lot of quality work going into it in the background!), maybe into ChemACX from Cambridgesoft, onto ChemExper or onto the eMolecules site. Some of these offer up to date pricing and procurement systems while others offer simply “Get me a Quote” services whereby a chemist can request a quote directly from the vendor for the material of interest.

ChemSpider has been depositing chemical compound collections for chemical vendors, both large and small, for many months. The word seems to have got out that there is value to doing this. Despite the fact that we do not have, at present, the ability to list real time or availability pricing for compounds chemical vendors appear to be deriving value from the listings and chemists are finding chemicals for purchase via ChemSpider.

if there is a certain small molecule chemical vendor that you think we should list on ChemSPider let them know to contact us OR point us to their URL and we will contact them. One example of data added just today is the data set, small though it is, from Asiaron. They offer rich compound pages like this and are a good addition to the database.

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