In recent years a number of pharmaceutical companies have independently developed tools enabling their scientists to consider relevant green criteria when making solvent selection decisions. These tools range from simple guides for early research chemistry departments to more complex resources for chemists and chemical engineers working on process development towards commercial manufacturing routes. In 2008 the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute® Pharmaceutical Roundtable (ACS GCIPR) adopted an objective to collaborate and use the experiences of the individual member companies to develop a global solvent selection guide for use across the industry and beyond.
In the first phase of this work a set of environmental, human health and safety criteria together with a scoring methodology were defined. A number of key solvents used by the industry were identified and scored against the criteria to form the basis of the guide allowing easy comparison of solvent profiles.
The work contributes to the mission of the ACS GCIPR to catalyse the implementation of green chemistry and engineering in the pharmaceutical industry globally by delivering a practical tool that can be used by scientists to make informed solvent selection decisions with due consideration to sustainability aspects.