Chemical names

There are a number of different chemical naming systems, both formal and informal, which are used in industry and by the general public.  This can make chemical identification complex.

There is an official naming system, IUPAC, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, which covers inorganic and organic chemical substances.  The IUPAC system is designed so that the name is derived from the chemical structure, and therefore also allows one to derive the structure of the chemical from the name.  For more details, see here: .

Although the IUPAC system is very logical, and does use some traditional chemical substance names because they are used so widely, it can lead to very long chemical names which are too cumbersome for everyday use.  However, some industries have specific official or unofficial sets of names which can be used instead of the IUPAC name, including for CLP labelling and REACH SDSs.

These industry substance names include:

The situation for mixtures (and chemical substances referred to by a trade name) is more complex, see .


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