If you're a research scientist, a formulation chemist, a student or otherwise involved in chemistry at the lab bench, here's a few utilities which you may find useful.

Search for articles

Google Scholar

A free online search utility for scientific articles and patents. You may need to subscribe to journals to see complete publications, or alternatively, you can seek access through a university library.

Chemical data

ChemSpider (Royal Society of Chemistry)

ChemSpider is a free online utility provided by the RSC. Search for information on chemical compounds from a multitude of databases and web sources. Awesome.

eChemPortal (OECD)

Free public access to information on over 600,000 chemicals. As well as searching by chemical number, name or synonym, you can now also search by chemical property (i.e. physical properties, environmental fate and behavior, ecotoxicity and toxicity). In several languages.

Green Chemistry Tools

Mass Efficiency Calculator (MS Excel File 0.4Mb)

Quickly assess and compare reaction performance with this easy to use tool. Just enter mass, molecular weight and molar ratios of your compounds, to calculate green chemistry metrics including E-factor, Mass Intensity, Yield, Atom Economy, and Reaction Mass Efficiency. Automatically generates a report, complete with charts, for up to four different reactions.

iSustain Green Chemistry Index

Web application for evaluating the sustainability of chemical products and processes. Uses a set of metrices based on the principles of Green Chemistry to generate a 12 point radar chart and an overall sustainability rating (0-100). Easily the best online utility based on green chemistry metrics, iSustain is well presented and easy to use. Paid membership is required to unlock advanced features, educational institutions qualify for free membership. Currently covers over 5400 compounds, and this number is increasing. You can request to have new or unlisted compounds added to iSustain for a small fee.

The Ecoscale

Web application for assessing reactions based on factors such as environmental, safety, pricing and efficiency. Ecoscale is a neat utility which taps into much larger chemical databases than iSustain, but is less refined, has a questionable rating system and doesn't always work (try different browsers, deleting cache and enabling popups). However, the rating criteria are well explained via a supporting publication so you can see how it's done, and as it gives you the ability to adjust the numbers, you can make your own value judgements when comparing compounds and reactions.

Green Chemistry Assistant (St Olaf College)

A web application for assessing the "greeness" of a reaction. Performs calculations such as atom economy and mass efficiency with printable reports.

Green Chemistry Expert System (USEPA)

A free program (download & install) that can be used to select green chemicals and reactions. Developed in the mid 90's, this program is now very old and clunky (MS Access 2.0 for Win3.x/95) and not supported on modern platforms.

Green Chemical Alternatives Wizard (MIT)

Green purchasing wizard developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.

Green Chemistry Information

Alternative Solvents - Poster (PDF download)

A quick reference guide for greener solvent selection, based on a 2008 study by Pfizer. It's 2 x A4 pages, so it's easy to print and laminate. Post it up in your lab today!

Green Solvents - iPhone app (Molecular Materials Informatics)

A free iPhone app which lists common solvents as a set of reference cards, each with a 'greeness' score based on safety and environmental considerations. This app is based on the solvent selection guide provided by the ACS-GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable (see next link).

Solvent Selection Guide (ACS-GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable)

A quick reference guide for greener solvent selection

Green Chemistry Resource Exchange (ACS Green Chemistry Institute)

Search a database of articles on Green Chemistry technologies - existing entries based around winners of the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. This website has limited entries and is out of date.


Apps for Chemistry (Scientific Mobile Applications - Wiki)

A zillion new apps for everything you need including structures, drawing, visualisation, databases, compounds, constants, formulae, reactions, safety, spectroscopy, theory, periodic tables and more. Sweet!

Chemistry Calculator (University of Sydney)

Scientific calculator with chemical constants and conversions.

More calculators and conversions

65 different calculators and converters for everything.

Includes such gems as the 1976 Standard Atmosphere Calculator and the Grit and MicroGrit Grading Conversion Chart.

The Royal Society of Chemistry font

A free True Type font that allows you to put chemistry symbols into your documents. Be sure to embed the font when saving your word or powerpoint file, or others won't be able to read it. There's instructions on the page on how to do this.

Journal Title Abbreviations (California Institute of Technology)

Look it up, don't make it up! You'll find the correct abbreviation for every journal here.