Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS)

Last updated: November 18, 2016

What Does Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Mean?

The Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) refers to an organization under the American Chemical Society. It is a source of chemical information. This organization abstracts and indexes chemical literature around the globe as “Chemical Abstracts.” Chemical Abstracts provides summaries and indexes of disclosures in recently published scientific documents. This abstracts service ceased print publication on January 1, 2010.

CAS Registry Numbers are assigned by the Chemical Abstracts Service and are used to identify specific chemicals or mixtures. The CAS Number is used in various databases, including Chemical Abstracts, for identification and retrieval.


Corrosionpedia Explains Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS)

The Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) is the world’s authority for chemical information and related services. It is a division of the American Chemical Society and dedicated to improving people’s lives through the transforming power of chemistry. The CAS finds, collects and organizes all publicly disclosed substance information and creates the world’s most valuable chemistry databases. Scientist and patent professionals across the world rely on this database.

A CAS Registry Number is a short string of text that refers to a chemical substance recorded in the CAS Chemical Registry System. CAS numbers have a special format. It contains a sequence of up to ten numerical digits separated into three groups by two hyphens; for example, the CAS number of water is 7732-18-5.

Although a CAS Registry Number itself has no inherent chemical significance, it provides an unambiguous way to identify a chemical substance or molecular structure when there are many possible systematic, generic, proprietary or trivial names. CAS Registry Numbers can be used in many other public and private databases as well as for chemical inventories.

CAS numbers were primarily developed to overcome the limitations of other chemical naming systems such as the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemists (IUPAC) nomenclature, which produce long names, involve complex language-specific naming rules and are often difficult to use.


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