Considering the environmental footprint of a typical pharmaceutical / agrochemical process, 60-80% arises from the use of solvents. Good solvent selection and use – can be the biggest positive hit on improving the sustainability of a process.
The timely identification of an optimum chemical route can save you time and money. An efficient route, selected earlier in the development phase will often save time, making for a more timely delivery of supplies and it could also reduce the risk of supply chain failure.
When comparing a biocatalyst vs. chemical route, the bio route will often be more expensive at the kg scale, but would often be a cheaper option at tonne scale. A robust understanding of economic cost-benefit analysis at different scales is the best way to guide the decision.
Biocatalysis is not just for chirality – many enzymes will show exquisite chemo and regio-selectivity, and will operate under mild conditions with sensitive substrates.
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