What is Chemical Grade?
The grade of a chemical is a measure of how pure a chemical is. The more impurities a chemical has, the lower the chemical grade. There are many different levels of chemical grades, however there are four common types of grades seen in chemistry labs.
Types of Chemical Grades
The four most common types of chemical grades are listed below in order of purity. The ACS grade is the most pure while technical grade is the least pure.
- ACS Grade: also known as the American Chemical Society Grade. Chemicals under this grade are of very high purity and are suitable for laboratory and analytical uses. The purity standards meet or exceed those set by the ACS. Chemicals in this category are pure enough for food, drug, and medicinal uses as well as application for procedures in which high purity chemicals are needed.
- Reagent Grade: also known as analytical reagents, guaranteed reagents and premium reagents. These chemicals are of very high purity and meet the standards set by the ACS. Generally, they are used in all areas in which high purity is important. Typically used in research labs, for buffers and volumetric solutions.
- Laboratory Grade: also known as a lab reagent. These chemicals are considered to be chemically pure and of relatively high purity. The levels of impurities that are extracted from these chemicals is unknown, however it often meets many standards. These chemicals are perfect for teaching in educational labs and in labs where high purity is not of importance , however they are not pure enough for use in food or drug use.
- Technical Grade: also known as commercial grade. These chemicals do contain impurities in levels that are high compared to the other grades on this list. They sometimes meet food grade standards, however they are generally used in qualitative testing where quality doesn’t matter as much. They are typically sold in bulk for commercial and industrial applications.
ACS grade chemicals are the most acceptable grade of chemicals as they are at least 95% pure and meet all of the standards set by the American Chemical Society, however they may not always be necessary and other grades are acceptable for many different applications.
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