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Issue 10, 2010
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LCA approach to the analysis of solvent waste issues in the pharmaceutical industry

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Abstract

Life cycle assessment offers a unique opportunity to analyze emission reductions across all manufacturing sectors. However, few efforts have been made to apply this method to the pharmaceutical industry. Typically, between 80 and 90% of the total mass used in the production of an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) may be attributed to solvent use. Manufacture of virgin solvent and solvent waste management contribute significantly more life cycle emissions than comparable processes for commodity chemicals, with the majority of this waste consisting of CO2 and other green house gas emissions. Three case studies from Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Novartis are examined. In these cases, solvent recovery and reduction techniques are integrated into API syntheses. It is shown that the actual extent of the environmental footprint reduction can only be realized with a full life cycle analysis.

Graphical abstract: LCA approach to the analysis of solvent waste issues in the pharmaceutical industry

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Publication details

The article was received on 03 Mar 2010, accepted on 27 Jul 2010 and first published on 24 Aug 2010


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C003666H
Citation: Green Chem., 2010,12, 1826-1834
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    LCA approach to the analysis of solvent waste issues in the pharmaceutical industry

    M. J. Raymond, C. S. Slater and M. J. Savelski, Green Chem., 2010, 12, 1826
    DOI: 10.1039/C003666H

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