IUPAC: Wikis


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IUPAC logo

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC, pronounced /ˈaɪjuːpæk/) is a international federation of National Adhering Organizations that represents chemists in individual countries.[1] It was established in 1919 as the successor of the International Congress of Applied Chemistry for the advancement of chemistry. Its members, the National Adhering Organizations, can be national chemistry societies, national academies of science, or other bodies representing chemists. There are fifty four National Adhering Organizations and three Associate National Adhering Organizations.[1] It is the recognized world authority in developing standards for the naming of the chemical elements and their compounds, through its Inter-divisional Committee on Nomenclature and Symbols (IUPAC nomenclature). It is a member of the International Council for Science (ICSU).

Since its creation, IUPAC has been run by many different committees with different responsibilities.[2] These commities all run different projects which include standardizing nomenclature[3], finding ways to bring chemistry to the world[4] , and publishing works.[5][6][7]



Friedrich August Kekulé von Stradonitz

The need for an international standard for chemistry was first addressed in 1860 by a committee headed by German scientist Friedrich August Kekulé von Stradonitz. This committee was the first international conference to create an international naming system for organic compounds.[8] The ideas that were formulated in that conference evolved into the official IUPAC nomenclature of organic chemistry.[8] This meeting was the very beginning of what eventually became IUPAC. Historically, this committee was one of the most important international collaborations of chemistry societies because it left a legacy that became IUPAC.[8]

The ideas of committee of 1860 were further addressed by the first international proposal. The rules established by this proposal are known as the Geneva Rules. The Geneva Rules first officially standardized some Organic Chemistry names and rules. The largest contribution that the Geneva Rules made to Organic Chemistry is the establishment of Organic root names.[9] The conference in Geneva was held by a precursor to IUPAC called The International Union of Chemistry.[10]

The work from the first international proposal was continued by the Commission for the Reform of Nomenclature in Organic Chemistry. The Commission for the Reform of Nomenclature was headed by The International Union of Chemistry.[9] The International Union of Chemistry continued to work on the naming of Organic compounds until the advent of World War I, due to international strife.[8]

After World war one, discussion ensued about the formation of a new permanent international chemistry society. At this time, the basic nomenclature of Organic compounds was established. However, a new organization needed to be established in order to continue work on the standardizing of chemistry.[8] This prompted the creation of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) Since this time, IUPAC has been the official organization held with the responsibility of updating and maintaining official organic nomenclature.[10] One notable country excluded from the early IUPAC was Germany. Germany's exclusion was a result of prejudice towards Germans by the allied powers after World War I[11] Germany was finally admitted into IUPAC during 1929. However, Nazi Germany was removed from IUPAC during World War II

During World War II, IUPAC by the allied powers[11] IUPAC had little involvement during the war. However, after the war, Germany was allowed back into IUPAC.[11]

Committees and Governance

IUPAC is governed by several committees that all have different responsibilities. The committees are as follows: Bureau, CHEMRAWN (Chem Research Applied to World Needs) Committee,Committee on Chemistry Education, Committee on Chemistry and Industry, Committee on Printed and Electronic Publications, Evaluation Committee, Executive Committee, Finance Committee, Interdivisional Committee on Terminology, Nomenclature and Symbols, Project Committee, Pure and Applied Chemistry Editorial Advisory Board.[2] Each committee is made from members of different National Adhering Organizations from different countries.[1]

The steering committee hierarchy for IUPAC is as follows:[12]

  1. All committees have an allotted budget that they must adhere to
  2. Any committee may start a project.
  3. If a project's spending becomes too much for a committee to continue funding, it must take the issue to the Project Committee.
  4. The project committee either increases the budget or decides on an external funding plan.
  5. The Bureau and Executive Committee oversee operations of the other committees

Each committee has their own group of responsibilities that are related to the field of chemistry. Each group's responsibilities are listed below:



  • Discusses and makes changes to which committee has authority over a specific project
  • Controls finances for all other committees and IUPAC as a whole
  • Discusses gerneral governance of IUPAC [13]

CHEMRAWN Committee (Chem Research Applied to World Needs)

  • Discusses different ways chemistry can and should be used to help the world[4]

Committee on Chemistry Education (CCE)

  • Coordinates IUPAC chemistry research with the educational systems of the world[14]

Committee on Chemistry and Industry (COCI)

Committee on Electronic and Printed Publications (CPEP)

  • Designs and implements IUPAC publications
  • Heads the Subcommittee on Spectroscopic Data Standards[16]

Evaluation Committee (EvC)

  • Evaluates every project
  • Reports back to Executive committee on every project[7]

Executive Committee (EC)

  • Plans and discusses IUPAC events
  • Discusses IUPAC fundraising
  • Reviews other committees work[17]

Current Officers of Executive Committee

  • President: Moreau, Nicole J.
  • Vice President: Tatsumi, Kazuyuki
  • Treasurer: Corish, John
  • Secretary General: Black, David StC.[18]

Finance Committee (FC)

  • Helps other committees properly manage their budget
  • Advises Union officers on investments [19]

Interdivisional Committee on Terminology (ICTNS)

  • Manages IUPAC Nomenclature
  • Works through many projects to standardize nomenclature
  • Standardizes measurements
  • Discusses atomic weight standardization[3]

Project Committee (PC)

  • Manages funds that are under the jurisdiction of multiple projects
  • Judges if a project is too large for its funding
  • Recommends sources of external funding for projects
  • Decides how to fund meetings in developing countries and countries in crisis[6]

Pure and Applied Chemistry Editorial Advisory Board (PAC-EAB)


The IUPAC committee has a long history of officially naming organic and inorganic compounds. IUPAC nomenclature is developed so that any compound can be named under one set of standard rules to avoid repeat names. The first publication, which is information from the International Congress of Applied Chemistry,[20] is on IUPAC nomenclature of organic compounds can be found from the early 20th century in A Guide to IUPAC Nomenclature of Organic Compounds (1900).

Organic Nomenclature

IUPAC organic nomenclature has three basic parts: the substituents, carbon chain length and chemical ending.[10] The substituents are any functional groups attached to the main carbon chain. The main carbon chain is the longest possible continuous chain. The chemical ending denotes what type of molecule it is. For example, the ending ane denotes a single bonded carbon chain.[21]

An example of IUPAC organic nomenclature is Cyclohexanol:

  • The substituent name for a ring compound is "Cyclo".
  • The indication (substituent name) for a six carbon chain is "hex".
  • The chemical ending for a single bonded carbon chain is "an"
  • The chemical ending for an alcohol is "ol"
  • The two chemical endings are combined for an ending of "anol" indicating a single bonded carbon chain with an alcohol attached to it.[10][21][22]

Inorganic Nomenclature

Basic IUPAC inorganic nomenclature has two main parts: the cation and the anion. The cation is the name for the positively charged ion and the anion is the name for the negatively charged ion.[10]

An example of IUPAC inorganic nomenclature is Potassium chlorate:

Potassium chlorate

Amino Acid and Nucleotide Base Codes

IUPAC also has a system for giving codes to identify Amino Acids and Nucleotide Bases. IUPAC needed a coding system that represented long sequences of Amino Acids. This would allow for these sequences to be compared to try to find homologies.[23] These codes can consist of either a one letter code or a three letter code. For example:

  • Alanine: Single letter code: A, Three letter code: Ala

These codes make it easier and shorter to write down the Amino Acid sequences that make up proteins. The Nucleotide Bases are made up of purines (Adenine and Guanine) and pyrimidines (Cytosine and Thymine). These Nucleotide Bases make up DNA and RNA. These Nucleotide Base codes make the genome of an organism much smaller and easier to read.[24]



Principles and Practice of Method Validation

Cover of Principles and Practice of Method Validation

Principles and Practices of Method Validation is a book entailing methods on validating and analyzing a many analytes taken from a single aliquot.[25] Also, this book goes over techniques for analyzing many samples at once. Some methods discussed include: chromatographic methods, estimation of effects, matrix induced effects, and the effect of an equipment setup on an experiment.[25]

Fundamental Toxicology

Cover of Fundamental Toxicology

Fundamental Toxicology is a textbook that proposes a curriculum for toxicology courses.[26]Fundamental Toxicology is based on the book Fundamental Toxicology for Chemists.[27] Fundamental Toxicology is enhanced through many revisions and updates. New information added in the revisions includes: risk assessment and management; reproductive toxicology; behavioral toxicology; and ecotoxicology.[27] This book is relatively well received as being useful for reviewing chemical toxicology.[26]

Colored cover book series (nomenclature)

IUPAC color codes their books in order to make each book distinguishable. Books that follow this trend are: Compendium of Analytical Nomenclature; Pure and Applied Chemistry(journal); and Compendium of Chemical Terminology.[8]

Compendium of Analytical Nomenclature

Cover of the Orange Book[28]

One extensive book on almost all nomenclature written (IUPAC nomenclature of organic chemistry and IUPAC nomenclature of inorganic chemistry) by the IUPAC committee is Compendium of Analytical Nomenclature - The Orange Book, 1st edition (1978)[29] This book has been through a revision that allowed a second edition to be published in 1987. The second edition has many revisions that come from reports on nomenclature between 1976 and 1984.[30] In 1992, the second edition went through many different revisions which led to the third edition.[30]

Pure and Applied Chemistry

Cover of Pure and Applied Chemistry

Pure and Applied Chemistry is the official monthly journal of IUPAC. This journal first debuted in 1960. The goal statement for Pure and Applied Chemistry is to "publish highly topical and credible works at the forefront of all aspects of pure and applied chemistry."[31] The Journal itself is available by subscription, but older issues are available in the archive on the IUPAC website.

Pure and Applied Chemistry was created as a central way to publish IUPAC endorsed articles.[32] Before its creation, IUPAC didn't have a quick, official way to distribute new chemistry information.

Its creation was first suggested at The Paris IUPAC Meeting of 1957.[32] During this meeting the commercial publisher of the Journal was discussed and decided on. In 1959, the IUPAC Pure and Applied Chemistry Editorial Advisory Board was created put in charge of the journal. The idea of one journal being a definitive place for a vast amount of chemistry was difficult for the committee to grasp at first.[32] However, it was decided that the journal would reprint old journal editions to keep all chemistry knowledge available.

Compendium of Chemical Terminology

Cover of Compendium of Chemical Terminology

The Compendium of Chemical Terminology, also known as The Gold Book, was originally worked on by Victor Gold. This book is a collection of names and terms already discussed in Pure and Applied Chemistry.[33] Compendium of Chemical Terminology was first published in 1987.[8] The first edition of this book contains no original material, but is meant to be a compilation of other IUPAC works.

The second edition of this book was published in 1997.[22] This book made large changes to the first edition of The Compendium of Chemical Terminology. These changes included updated material and an expansion of the book to include over seven thousand terms.[22] The second edition was the topic of an IUPAC XML project. This project made an XML version of the book that includes over seven thousand terms. The XML version of the book includes an open editing policy, which allows users to add excerpts of the written version.[22]

IUPAC Nomenclature of Organic Chemistry (Online Publication)

IUPAC Nomenclature of Organic Chemistry (publication), also known as The Blue Book, is a website published by Advanced Chemistry Department Incorporated with the permission of IUPAC. This site is a compilation of the books A Guide to IUPAC Nomenclature of Organic Compounds and Nomenclature of Organic Chemistry.[34]

Macromolecular Symposia

Macromolecualar Symposia is a journal that publishes fourteen issues a year. This journal includes contributions to the macromolecular chemistry and physics field. The meetings of the IUPAC are included in this journal along with the European Polymer Federation, the American Chemistry Society, and the Society of Polymer Science in Japan.[35]

International Year of Chemistry


IUPAC and UNESCO are the lead organizations coordinating events for the International Year of Chemistry, which will take place in 2011.[36][37][38] The International Year of Chemistry was originally proposed by IUPAC at the General Assembly in Turin, Italy.[39] This motion was adopted by UNESCO at a meeting in 2008.[39] The main objectives of the International Year of Chemistry is to increase public appreciation of chemistry and gain more interest in the world of chemistry. This event is also being held to encourage young people to get involved and contribute to chemistry. Another reason this even is being held is to honor how chemistry has made improvements to everyone's way of life.[40]

Current Projects

IUPAC Current project list

  • Project Number 2009-032-1-100: Categorizing Halogen Bonding and Other Noncovalent Interactions Involving Halogen Atoms[41]
  • Project Number 2009-048-1-600: Guidance for substance-related environmental monitoring strategies regarding soil and surface water[41]
    • The objective of this project is to identify new pollutants and their hazards and to monitor less investigated pollutants. Also, this project will provide strategies for how pollutants should be monitored. The advantages and disadvantages of each monitoring technique will be discussed.[43]
  • Project Number 2009-034-2-700: Risk Assessment of Effects of Cadmium on Human Health[41]
    • The objective of this project is to identify the risks and effects of exposure of humans to Cadmium, which is classified as a carcinogenic to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Also, the objective includes researching how Cadmium enters into the human body.[44]
  • Project Number 2009-019-2-400: Data Treatment in SEC and Other Techniques of Polymer Characterization. Correction for Band Broadening and Other Sources of Error[41]
    • The objective of this project is to provide practical alternatives for improving the accuracy of polymer characterization and measurements. This would allow manufacturers of equipment, such as Size Exclusive Chromatography (SEC) and other polymer characterization techniques, to sell a product that is more accurate and precise.[41]

See also

Notes & references

  1. ^ a b c IUPAC National Adhering Organizations
  2. ^ a b IUPAC Committees list
  3. ^ a b Interdivisional Committee on Terminology web page
  4. ^ a b Chemdrawn
  5. ^ a b Pure and Applied Chemistry Editorial Advisory Board web page
  6. ^ a b Project Committee web page
  7. ^ a b Evaluation Committee page
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Fennel, R.W. (1994). History of IUPAC, 1919-1987. Blackwell Science. ISBN 0-86542-8786(94). 
  9. ^ a b Beginnings of standardization
  10. ^ a b c d e f Brown, Theodore L.; H. Eugene LeMay Jr, Bruce E Bursten (2006). Chemistry The Central Science Tenth Edition. Pearson Books. ISBN 0-13-109686-9. 
  11. ^ a b c Kaderas, Brigitte (2002). Wissenschaften und Wissenschaftspolitik: Bestandsaufnahmen zu Formationen, Brüchen und Kontinuitäten im Deutschland des 20. Jahrhunderts. Franz Steiner Verlag. ISBN 3-515-08111-9. 
  12. ^ IUPAC Project Committee
  13. ^ IUPAC news and references
  14. ^ Chemistry Education
  15. ^ Chemistry and Industry
  16. ^ Committee on Electronic and Printed Publications webpage
  17. ^ Executive Committee meeting
  18. ^ Executive Committee Page
  19. ^ Finance Committee web page
  20. ^ IUPAC Publications List
  21. ^ a b Klein, David R. (2008). Organic Chemistry I As a Second Language: Translating the Basic Concepts Second Edition. John Wiley & Sons Inc.. ISBN 13 978-0470-12929-6. 
  22. ^ a b c d Gold Book web page
  23. ^ Amino Acid Codes
  24. ^ Amino Acid and Nucleotide Base Codes
  25. ^ a b Flipkart Review of Principles and Practices of Method Validation
  26. ^ a b Fundamental Toxicology review on amazon
  27. ^ a b Fundamental Toxicology review on rsc.org
  28. ^ IUPAC orange book cover image
  29. ^ IUPAC orange book publication history
  30. ^ a b Orange Book Preamble
  31. ^ IUPAC Pure and Applied Chemistry
  32. ^ a b c IUPAC Pure and Applied Chemistry Issue 1
  33. ^ Gold Book Online
  34. ^ Online version of Blue Book
  35. ^ Macromolecular Symposia
  36. ^ United Nations Observances. Retrieved on July 27, 2009.
  37. ^ United Nations Resolution 63/209: International Year of Chemistry. February 3, 2009. Retrieved on July 22, 2009.
  38. ^ About IYC: Introduction. July 9, 2009. Retrieved on July 22, 2009.
  39. ^ a b International Year of Chemistry Prospectus
  40. ^ IYC: Introduction. July 9, 2009. Retrieved on February 17, 2010.
  41. ^ a b c d e IUPAC Current Projects. February 15, 2010. Retrieved on February 17, 2010.
  42. ^ Halogen Bonding Project. February 15, 2010. Retrieved on February 17, 2010.
  43. ^ IUPAC Current Projects. February 15, 2010. Retrieved on March 2, 2010.
  44. ^ IUPAC Current Projects. February 15, 2010. Retrieved on March 2, 2010.

External links


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Wikipedia has an article on:




  1. (chemistry) International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, establishes official names of chemical elements and compounds.

Simple English

IUPAC stands for International Union for Pure and Applied Chemistry. It governs everything to do with chemicals, elements and new discoveries. Every chemical known has a common name and a IUPAC name. This is also true for the Periodic Table of the Elements. Every element's name has been approved by IUPAC. (This does not apply to those elements still given temporary names. These are the most recently discovered elements Uub; Ununbium to Uuo; Ununoctium.)


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