24 Moving towards Greener Solvents for Pharmaceutical Manufacturing An Industry Perspective

Tuesday, June 23, 2009: 1:55 PM
Auditorium (Marriott Inn and Conference Center University Of MD University College)
Peter J. Dunn , Pfizer, Inc., Sandwich, Kent, United Kingdom
Richard K. Henderson , Cehs, GlaxoSmithKline, Ware, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Ingrid Mergelsberg , Chemical and Physical Sciences, Synthetic Chemistry, Schering-Plough, Union, NJ
Andrew S. Wells , Global Process Research and Development, AstraZeneca, Loughborough, United Kingdom
The ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable is a group of 12 pharmaceutical companies and the ACS Green Chemistry Institute with the the objective of promoting Green Chemistry within the pharmaceutical industry. In 2006 and 2008 the group performed some benchmarking exercises where companies submitted blinded data on a number of pharmaceutical processes from all stages of chemical development from pre-clinical drug candidates to commercial drugs. In 2008 the latest results showed 56 % of the waste from these processes was solvents and 32 % water. Very similar results were obtained in 2006 and these data reinforce the need for wider use and availability of greener solvents.


The Roundtable companies have identified three critical areas:

  1. The need for replacements for chlorinated solvents
  2. The need for modified ethers that exhibit low peroxide formation and reasonable flammability
  3. Replacements for polar aprotic solvents

Each of these areas will be discussed in detail, looking at the current alternatives and in some cases suggesting some potential alternatives.

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