Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

We have assembled the following FAQ to try to help you find answers to often asked questions. If you do not find the answer to your question below, please do contact us at 877-534-0795 or via email.

Product/Manufacturing Questions:

 

Q: Can GFS manufacture high-purity materials in bulk?
A: Yes; for example, GFS can routinely produce ton lots of lithium carbonate having a spectrographic (metals basis) purity close to 99.999%

Q: Does GFS supply anhydrous or custom-dried compounds?
A: We have the capability of drying ton lots of many inorganic salts, and also supply dry salts of many organic acids. Examples include lithium perchlorate (for battery electrolytes), cerous chloride (catalyst/initiator), and mono-potassium citrate.

Q: Can GFS supply materials in container loads?
A: Yes. GFS manufactures ton quantities of many products; some examples are perchloric acid and perchlorate salts; rare earth chemicals and formulations, especially Cerium (IV) salts and solutions; and lithium compounds. 

Q: Are all these chemicals made in one location?
A: There are two GFS plant sites and it has many manufacturing units. All specialty organic chemicals are made in a 14,000 sq. ft facility dedicated to the production and analysis of a wide range of organic chemicals. Inorganic specialties are manufactured in several other dedicated buildings. GFS Analytical materials are manufactured at a different site.

Q: What are the core manufacturing capabilities of GFS?
A: The company has three primary business segments:

  1. Reagents for analysis, laboratory research, and development
  2. Bulk and specialty inorganic salts and solutions for the chemical process industries
  3. Bulk and specialty organic intermediates for research and process development

Q: What about bulk chemical manufacturing for production use?
A: 
Bulk manufacturing is subject to guidelines pertaining to the EPA inventory given under section 8(b) of TSCA. Manufacture of material that is not listed on TSCA requires submission of a pre-manufacturing notice. It is the responsibility of the buyer to ensure approval for use under TSCA of any product purchased from GFS and to advise GFS if a pre-manufacturing notice is required.

Q: Does GFS make custom products? 
A: We are always open to talking with companies about making custom products. Please call us at 877-534-0795 to speak with our head chemist.

 

Shipping Concerns: 

 

Q: My products have not arrived yet. When will they be delivered?
A: You can check your order status online or by calling our customer service line at 877-534-0795

Q: Where can I get an MSDS sheet for products I have ordered?
A: Please contact our customer service department at 877-534-0795

Q: I was told that the shipment of some hazardous materials might cost a little more from GFS. Is this true?
A: We have found that in shipping hazardous materials, there are numerous instances where UPS regulations are inconsistent with DOT regulations. In cases such as this, we feel it is imperative to ship in compliance with the DOT regulations, and there might be a slight additional cost. Some companies may be willing to ship such material via UPS, but we are not. One typical example might be sodium hydroxide solution, a corrosive liquid. Frequently, there are alternative means of shipment that are marginally more expensive than UPS but allow shipment in full compliance with DOT. We will be happy to address this question further in instances where your business may be significantly impacted.

Q: With all sorts of regulations in place, hasn't working with common carriers become a matter of routing? 
A: There are all sorts of nuances that must be addressed in getting a chemical product from our shipping dock to you. The delivery of materials to a particular station at a customer’s location can be a challenge. Another difficulty may be reconciling differences in the way that some carriers choose to classify hazardous materials compared to standard DOT classification.

Q: I need to return a product. How do I do this?
A: Please contact customer service at 877-534-0795 and have your order number handy.

 

Company FAQs:

 

Q: IS GFS ISO certified? What exactly does ISO 9001 certification mean? 
A: The letters refer to the International Standardization Organization. Registration to an appropriate ISO designation indicates compliance with specific standards and practices for key aspects of both manufacturing and business management. This ensures that official company procedures and protocols are consistently applied to the control of both materials and internal processes. If you would like a copy of our ISO Certificate, you can download it here.

Q: What's the best reason for me to consider GFS as a chemicals supplier? 
A: Since we are a primary manufacturer of a wide range of chemical products, it is very likely that we can provide you with a product you need, at a most competitive price, and with the personal service that only a family company can offer.

Q: Does GFS regularly add technology to its manufacturing base?
A: We keep pace with our customers by both developing and acquiring new technology on a regular basis. Our engineering expertise recently allowed us to incorporate Farchan Laboratories’ acetylene and liquid ammonia chemistries into our new organic production operation.

Q: How does GFS sell its products?
A: The GFS catalog offers research and lab quantities of over 3000 chemicals. Requests for bulk quantities (kilos to tons) are answered promptly and sold directly to the customer. Many customers also buy GFS products conveniently through local distributors.

Q: Does GFS regularly ship its products to foreign markets? 
A: Yes, GFS is a major supplier of both bulk and specialty reagents to a broad range of customers in all the world markets. Our products can be purchased directly from our Ohio office, or from a number of distributors in Australia, Asia, Europe, and Canada.

Q: Is security a prominent issue at GFS?
A: Even before the events of 9/11/01, GFS was implementing new controls in all its production environments. This includes more restricted access to areas involved in chemical manufacturing, distribution, and storage. New two-way radios have been provided to improve the connection among the various buildings that make up the plant operations. Matters of safety and security extend to GFS employees, customers, and also to the transportation agents that convey chemical products.

Q: Why do you need to know how I'm going to use the chemicals I buy?
A: The general GFS manufacturing operation is not certified by the FDA or any other government agency for the production of chemicals that will be directly used in food, drug, or cosmetic applications. If you need chemicals for such purpose, GFS is not able to sell them to you. Many customers connected to these industries do buy GFS products to use as reactants or intermediates in their synthetic chemistries, but not as additives to their consumer products.

Q: What other restrictions might affect the way I do business with GFS?
A: There could be a number of things. We cannot sell chemicals to individuals who are not connected to a recognized business or institution. Delivery of chemicals to residential addresses is a problem because there is no way to ensure immediate receipt, which is necessary to keep the material from falling into the wrong hands. Several chemicals are restricted in their distribution because they are classified as drug precursors. These and other restrictions and guidelines are the reason why GFS and other reputable chemical companies require significant amounts of information in order to establish a customer account for you. This is a process that protects everybody.

Q: What about bulk chemical manufacturing for production use?
A: Bulk manufacturing is subject to guidelines pertaining to the EPA inventory given under section 8(b) of TSCA. Manufacture of material that is not listed on TSCA requires submission of a pre-manufacturing notice. It is the responsibility of the buyer to ensure approval for use under TSCA of any product purchased from GFS and to advise GFS if a pre-manufacturing notice is required.

Q: Where does the issue of TSCA compliance come in? 
A: The law obligates us to demonstrate diligence in ensuring that GFS products are purchased and used by qualified individuals. In the case of chemicals not included in the Toxic Substances Control Act inventory, it is imperative that such materials are used only for R&D purposes, by qualified technicians capable of understanding and communicating their respective hazards.

Q: How big is GFS?
A: The company has about 140 employees; the production site occupies about 20 acres of land, and the corporate offices are situated on 75 acres in Powell, Ohio, a suburb north of Columbus. Over 45,000 sq. ft. of plant capacity is available.

Q: Who owns GFS? Is it a division of a large company?
A: The company is independent and still privately owned and operated by the third generation of the Smith family.

Q: Where is GFS located?
A: Our manufacturing plant has been at the same location in Columbus, Ohio, USA since the company was founded in 1928.

Q: What do the letters GFS stand for?
A: They are the initials of our founder, Professor G. Frederick Smith, Professor of Analytical Chemistry at the University of Illinois.

 

Purchasing, Billing, and Buying Online:

 

Q: If there is an error on my invoice, how do I take care of this?
A: Please call customer service at 877-534-0795 and have your order information handy.

Q: Can I buy with a credit card or Purchase Order (PO)?
A: Yes, you can. If you order online, you can pay by credit card or enter a PO number. You can do the same if your order by phone (toll-free 877-534-0795)

Q: How do I purchase online?
A: Sign in to your account and then place the items in your shopping cart. Proceed to checkout. Complete the company and credit card/PO information and choose your ship-to location.  Then submit your order. If you do not have an account, you will be required to complete a chemical purchasing form that will be reviewed by our customer service department. You will only be required to complete this form one time. If you are purchasing a DEA restricted item then you will complete a DEA form.  You can also review your order history and you can track your order if you are a registered user.