SinS - Abstract

Abstract Title: Going green in separation science – focussing on the ‘how?’
Presenter Name: Dr Paul Ferguson
Company/Organisation: AstraZeneca
Country: United Kingdom

Abstract Information :

The concept of sustainability has come sharply into view as the anticipated effects of climate change on the planet become a reality.

Albeit a small part of the issue, decreasing the impact of chemistry on the environment is something analytical scientists can proactively do to help address this. As separation science is the most prevalent of all analytical techniques (producing the greatest carbon dioxide (instrument energy use as well as organic solvent synthesis and disposal), highest water usage and largest waste footprint), it should be investigated as a priority.

There are many approaches that may be implemented to address the environmental impact of separation science. The first step is to assess how polluting a chromatographic method (typically) may be. The premiss of ‘reduce, replace, remove and recycle’ (the ‘4R’s’) should then be considered to reduce carbon dioxide and waste footprint. In this framework, reducing the volume of a chromatographic separation, the use of more benign organic solvents and mobile phase additives, switching to less waste intensive alternative analytical approaches and recovery of solvents can all be considered. A greater focus on sample preparation and the use of digital approaches within separation science are also very important to reduce the number of experiments undertaken when developing or modifying methods. More holistically, the concept of ‘right-first-time, every time’ is important in reducing waste - and efforts should be taken within organisations to provide the training and infrastructure to enable this.

This presentation will touch on many of these points and offer ideas and practical approaches to ‘green’ separation science.