Most laboratories use chemicals but in different forms. If you work in a laboratory, it is essential to source the right chemicals. You should know where to purchase, the grade needed, and labeling to avoid confusion in the laboratory.

To further have a better understanding, this guide is for you. We shall walk you through the challenges experienced by most people.

Let’s dive in:

Chemical Grades

In the laboratory, chemicals should be labeled on their grade, which usually represents their purity. There are various standards you can use to grade the chemicals. The common methods you’ll likely encounter are Laboratory Grade, Reagent Grade, and ACS.

There are also terminologies used by various chemical manufacturers. The general rule of thumb, Reagent Grades and ACS are the purest, whereas Laboratory Grade is the least pure.

ACS Grade chemicals will be backed by Certificate of Analysis; therefore, the chemicals are more priced than the others. Laboratory Grade chemicals are common in less critical analysis.

ACS Grade – American Chemical Society

  • Purity Level – These chemicals have the highest purity levels because they must meet set standards.
  • Application – ACS chemicals are reliable for use in many analytical and laboratories applications.

Reagent Grade – Analytical Reagents

  • Purity Level – High purity exceeding the set standards by the ACS. They have Certificates of Analysis. That information is always printer on their label.
  • Applications – These chemicals are used for scientific purposes because quality is the key. These could be in the production of primary standards (volumetric solutions, buffers), research laboratories, and Quantitative analysis in QA.

Laboratory Grade (L/G) – Laboratory Reagent

  • Purity Levels – These chemicals are relatively high purity, with unknown levels of impurity. However, they often have to meet USP, FG, or BP standards. Certification will be checked when suitable to use these chemicals.
  • Applications – These chemicals are excellent for use in education and teaching labs. However, they are not pure enough to use for medicinal, drug, or food purposes. They are recommended for use in general lab work without the requirement of an analytical reagent.

Technical Grade

  • Purity Level – These chemicals have impurities. The manufacturer will also provide their basic product specifications. Sometimes, they will comply with the Food Grade Certification.
  • Uses – These chemicals are used in low-grade applications or qualitative testing. They are often supplied in bulk to be used in commercial or industrial applications.

Other Grades

These are grades with application-specific and extensive data provided by the manufacturer and distributors. They include:

  • Ultra Pure reagents
  • HPLC grades – they have variable degrees of purity
  • Molecular Biology grade
  • Ultrapure reagents
  • Reference Standards for BP, EP, and USP testing
  • AAS/ICP Standards
  • Food Pharmaceutical grades (FG, EP, and BP)


There are countless chemical suppliers, including specialty manufacturers and distributors. Most laboratories will combine chemical requirements using general purchases, therefore demanding hassle-free sourcing and fast deliveries. That guarantees them continuity of supplies.

Nevertheless, if you are looking to source chemicals for your laboratory, ensure they are of standard. You must choose from a reliable supplier.