CAS Registry Numbers | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 86 Issue 18 | p. 4 | Letters
Issue Date: May 5, 2008

CAS Registry Numbers

Department: Letters

While it is good to know that Wikipedia has approached Chemical Abstracts Service to address the issue of incomplete or incorrect CAS Registry Numbers, it should be recognized that this is only the tip of the iceberg relative to incomplete or incorrect registry numbers on the Web (C&EN, March 17, page 43). The most common problem is the confusion between the number for the generic formula of a compound (intended to be used for a chemical entity when its exact composition is unknown or variable) versus the number for a compound of specific known formula. A good example is the three configurations of propanol:

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