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Efficacy of Using Producer Price Indexes for Bulk Chemical Prices in Student Design Projects

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Conference

ASEE 2021 Gulf-Southwest Annual Conference

Location

Waco, Texas

Publication Date

March 24, 2021

Start Date

March 24, 2021

End Date

March 26, 2021

Page Count

15

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/36374

Download Count

75

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Paper Authors

biography

David E Hubbard Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-1532-9410

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David E. Hubbard is an Associate Professor and Science & Engineering Librarian at Texas A&M University Libraries. He received his master’s in library science from the University of Missouri-Columbia (2003) and bachelor's in chemistry from the University of Missouri-St. Louis (1988). More recently, he completed a master’s in geographic information science from Northwest Missouri State University (2012). Prior to joining Texas A&M University in 2009, he served as the subject liaison to several science and engineering departments at both Texas Tech University and Missouri University of Science & Technology.

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Abstract

Efficacy of Using Producer Price Indexes for Bulk Chemical Prices in Student Design Projects Engineering students are being asked to work on real-world projects and need to access accurate cost information for their design projects. In the case of chemical engineering and related disciplines, capstone courses often require designing industrial processes or a chemical plant involving bulk chemical pricing for both feedstocks and products. A lot of chemical pricing information was available in trade magazines; however, bulk chemical prices are increasingly difficult to locate as producers of that information have reduced the availability and further monetized the information over the last decade or so. The resulting information sources containing chemical pricing often cannot be acquired by academic libraries due to cost or licensing terms. In cases where current chemical prices are not available, one could use a producer price index (PPI) to adjust an older price to current levels. Using older prices and adjusting to current levels allows students access to a much larger source of chemical prices (e.g., older trade magazines). Using the PPI to adjust chemical pricing will be reviewed. In theory, adjustments using a PPI should provide accurate chemical pricing. To determine the efficacy of this approach, this study examined pricing adjustments from three information sources for 3, 5, 10, and 15 year intervals for a group of industrial chemicals to determine the efficacy of this approach. This study then discusses the relative merits and limits of using PPIs to adjust chemical prices to assist students with their design projects.

Hubbard, D. E. (2021, March), Efficacy of Using Producer Price Indexes for Bulk Chemical Prices in Student Design Projects Paper presented at ASEE 2021 Gulf-Southwest Annual Conference, Waco, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/36374

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