Capitalization rules for chemical compounds and abbreviations deserve to be confutilizing.At the start of a sentence, capitalize the initially syllabic percentage of the compound name.Chemical aspects and amino acids are not capitalized within a sentence, simply their symbol (e.g., Ag or Gln).

You are watching: Do you capitalize elements of the periodic table


Lynne Hymale, PhD

Team Manager

PhD, ChemistryDuke University

See more short articles by Lynne Hyman, PhD
Post Tags

Writing a manuscript

Author Resources

Language editing

Manumanuscript formatting

Editing tips




Popular Categories

Writing a manuscript

Finishing touches

Choosing a journal

Peer testimonial and publication

Sharing your research

Research process

Publication ethics

A sepaprice post here on the Author Resource Center discusses formatting with chemical compound prefixes. This article focuses on capitalization of chemical compounds and also abbreviations, an additional tricky facet of formatting chemistry papers. Here are numerous tips to follow:

1. Chemical names

The names of chemicals are not capitalized unless they are the first word of a sentence. In such a situation, the first letter of the syllabic percentage is capitalized, not the descriptor or preresolve. Note that prefixes such as Tris- and Bis- (which are not generally italicized) are taken into consideration part of the name. The adhering to table mirrors numerous examples.

Within sentence Beginning a sentence Within sentence Beginning a sentence
benzoic acid Benzoic acid 1-bromo-3-chloropropane 1-Bromo-3-chloropropane
7-(4-chlorophenyl)-1-naphthol 7-(4-Chlorophenyl)-1-naphthol O,S,S-triethyl phosphorodithioate O,S,S-Triethyl phosphorodithioate
O,S,S-triethyl phosphorodithioate O,S,S-Triethyl phosphorodithioate p-benezenediacetic acid p-Benezenediacetic acid
tris(β-chloroethyl)amine Tris(β-chloroethyl)amine cis-1,2-dichloroethene cis-1,2-Dichloroethene

2. Chemical elements

Within a sentence, the names of chemical facets are not capitalized, however the first letter of a chemical symbol must always be capitalized (e.g., “The sample included calcium atoms” and also “The sample included Ca atoms”).

3. Chemical formulas

Within a sentence, the names of chemical compounds are not capitalized, but the first letter of each elepsychological symbol have to be capitalized (e.g., “We included sodium hydroxide” and “We added NaOH). Keep in mind that icons and also words must not be combined (that is, avoid saying “K chloride”).

4. Amino acids

Abbreviations for amino acids (three-letter or one-letter versions) are capitalized; full names are not capitalized unmuch less they are the first word of a sentence (e.g., ““The mutant protein attributes a substituted glutamine residue” and also “The mutant protein attributes a substituted Gln residue”).

See more: Conan Exiles How To Make Hardened Brick, Hardened Brick

We hope that today’s write-up provides some additional advantageous advice for writing or editing your following chemistry paper! Sfinish us an email via any type of inquiries.