Advertisement

Enzymes for pharmaceutical applications—a cradle-to-gate life cycle assessment

  • Seungdo Kim
  • Concepción Jiménez-González
  • Bruce E. Dale
LIFE CYCLE IMPACTS OF BIOPROCESSES

Abstract

Background, aim, and scope

During the last decade, the interest in estimating environmental life cycle impacts of bioprocesses has markedly risen. To adequately quantify these impacts, accurate life cycle inventories of materials, such as agricultural substrates and enzymes, are required. The goals of this life cycle assessment were (1) to estimate the life cycle inventories (LCIs) and impacts of three supported enzymes produced in-house for pharmaceutical applications (A, B, and C) and (2) to determine the suitability of applying modular life cycle inventory estimation techniques to enzymes when individual enzyme LCIs are not readily available. The scope of this LCA was cradle to gate, covering the production and purification of the enzymes, energy generation, raw material production, waste treatment, and transportation of the raw materials.

Materials and methods

Three immobilized enzymes (A, B, and C) produced industrially for application in pharmaceutical products were studied. Enzyme production information was obtained from internal process descriptions. LCI information was obtained from GlaxoSmithKline’s in-house LCA database FLASC™, from LCA commercial databases, and literature. The LCI for the enzyme support was estimated using its material flows. Mass allocations were applied to multi-output processes in the upstream processes. The life cycle impacts considered were nonrenewable energy consumption, global warming, acidification, eutrophication, and photochemical smog formation.

Results and discussion

Life cycle impacts of the immobilized enzymes A, B, and C were estimated. For instance, nonrenewable energy use is between 117 to 207 MJ/kg of immobilized enzyme and the global warming potential ranges from 16 to 25 kg CO2 eq/kg immobilized enzyme. Contributions of different subprocesses were also estimated. For example, support production accounts for about 31% to 67% of the energy consumption and soybean protein and yeast extract account for about 64% to 72% of the total photochemical smog formation. Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis were performed using Monte Carlo simulation and showed that a standard deviation of the environmental impact is less than 7% of the mean in all the environmental impacts considered. “What if” analysis shows that using biobased glycerin instead of petroleum-based glycerin could reduce global warming impacts between 11% and 44%.

Conclusions, recommendations, and perspectives

The production of immobilized enzyme is, in general, energy intensive. Enzyme A has larger environmental impacts than the other enzymes evaluated because of larger energy intensity and lower enzyme production yield. The media preparation inputs (soybean protein, yeast extract) and immobilization subprocesses are the two major contributors to acidification, eutrophication, and photochemical smog formation. Immobilization is the major contributor for global warming potential. “What if” analysis estimated changes on life cycle impacts for biobased vs. synthetic substrates. The results of this LCA are, in general, comparable with results previously reported in the literature (Nielsen et al., Int J Life Cycle Assess 12(6):432–438, 2007). Therefore, using this technique to estimate LCI of enzymes appears to be suitable for future life cycle assessments of biocatalyzed processes. The results of this study will be integrated into GlaxoSmithKline’s FLASC™ to improve the accuracy of life cycle assessment for biocatalyzed processes and enzymes produced in-house.

Keywords

Biocatalysis Bioprocesses Cradle-to-gate Enzymes LCA Life cycle assessment Life cycle inventories Pharmaceuticals 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank Ted Chapman, Keith Calver, and Keith Robins from GlaxoSmithKline in Worthing, UK for providing the information on the enzyme manufacturing processes and for their invaluable assistance in understanding the enzyme process requirements. The authors also want to thank James Hagan and David Constable of GlaxoSmithKline in Philadelphia, US, for their continued support in advancing the industrial application of life cycle assessment.

References

  1. Abe T, Manabe M, Deguchi K, Uhara H, Aoki Y (1995) Method for production of methacrylic acid. United States Patent, 4,954,650Google Scholar
  2. Atkinson B, Mavituna F (1991) Biochemical engineering and biotechnology handbook. Stockton, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Bayer T (2004) 7-Aminocephalosporanic acid—chemical versus enzymatic production process. In: Blaser HU, Schmidt E (eds) Asymmetric catalysis on industrial scale: challenges, approaches and solutions. Wiley-VCH, WeinheimGoogle Scholar
  4. Bull AT, Bunch AW, Robinson GK (1999) Biocatalysts for clean industrial products and processes. Curr Opin Microbiol 2:246–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Curzons AD, Jiménez-González C, Duncan AL, Constable DJC, Cunningham VL (2007) Fast lifecycle assessment of synthetic chemistry tool, FLASC™ Tool. Int J Life Cycle Assess 12(4):272–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Del Grosso SJ, Parton WJ, Mosier AR, Hartman MD, Brenner J, Ojima DS, Schimel DS (2001) Simulated interaction of carbon dynamics and nitrogen trace gas fluxes using the DAYCENT model. In: Shaffer MJ, Ma L, Hansen S (eds) Modeling carbon and nitrogen dynamics for soil management. Lewis, Boca Raton, FL, pp 303–332Google Scholar
  7. Ecobilan (2009). DEAM™ 3.0, France. https://www.ecobilan.com/uk_deam.php. Accessed February 2009
  8. EMPA (2009). The Ecoinvent Database v1.3. http://www.ecoinvent.ch/. Accessed February 2009
  9. Guinée JB (eds) (2002) Handbook on life cycle assessment operational guide to the ISO standards. Kluwer Academic, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  10. Henderson RK, Jiménez-González C (2007) Green technology assessment: Orlistat case study. GSK Internal Report, 29 ppGoogle Scholar
  11. Henderson RK, Jiménez-González C, Preston C, Constable DJC, Woodley J (2008) EHS and life cycle assessment of biocatalytic and chemical processes: 7ACA production. Ind Biotechnol 4(2):180–192Google Scholar
  12. Hosokawa H, Shikatsu M, Fujimoto T (1990) Method for producing glycidyl methacrylate. United States Patent, 5,380,884Google Scholar
  13. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2001) Climate Change 2001: working group I: the scientific basis. http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/index.htm. Accessed July 2008
  14. Jiménez-González C, Overcash M (2000) Energy sub-modules applied in life cycle inventory of processes. Clean Prod Process 2:57–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jiménez-González C, Kim S, Overcash M (2000) Methodology of developing gate-to-gate life cycle analysis information. Int J Life Cycle Assess 5(3):153–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jiménez-González C, Overcash M, Curzons A (2001) Treatment modules—a partial life cycle inventory. J Chem Technol Biotechnol 76:707–716CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jödicke G, Zenklusen O, Weidenhaupt A, Hungerbühler K (1999) Developing environmentally-sound processes in the chemical industry: a case study on pharmaceutical intermediates. J Clean Prod 7:159–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kim S, Dale BE (2005) Life cycle assessment of various cropping systems utilized for producing biofuels: bioethanol and biodiesel. Biomass Bioenerg 29:426–439CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kim S, Overcash M (2003) Energy in chemical manufacturing processes: gate-to-gate information for life cycle assessment. J Chem Technol Biotechnol 78:995–1005CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kim H, Kim S, Dale BE (2009) Biofuels, land use change and greenhouse gas emissions: some unexplored variables. Environ Sci Technol 43:961–967CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kuroda T, Oh-Kita M, Kato M (1993) Process for production of methacrolein and methacrylic acid. United States Patent, 5,208,371Google Scholar
  22. Nielsen PH, Oxenbøll KM, Wenzel H (2007) Cradle-to-gate environmental assessment of enzyme products produced industrially in Demark by Novozymes A/S. Int J Life Cycle Assess 12(6):432–438CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Office of Transportation and Air Quality (2002) A comprehensive analysis of biodiesel impacts on exhaust emissions, EPA420-P-02-001. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  24. Rosenbaum RK, Bachmann TM, Swirsky GL, Huijbregts M, Jolliet O, Juraske J, Koehler A, Larsen HF, MacLeod M, Margni M, McKone TE, Payet J, Schuhmacher M, van de Meent D, Hauschild MZ (2008) USEtox—the UNEP-SETAC toxicity model: recommended characterisation factors for human toxicity and freshwater ecotoxicity in life cycle impact assessment. Int J Life Cycle Assess 13(7):532–546CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Rozell DJ (1999) Commercial scale biocatalysis: myths and realities. Bioorg Med Chem 7:2253–2261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Schoemaker HE, Mink D, Wubbolts MG (2003) Dispelling the myths—biocatalysis industrial synthesis. Science 299:1694–1697CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Searchinger T, Heimlich R, Houghton RA, Dong F, Elobeid A, Fabiosa J, Tokgoz S, Hayes D, Yu T (2008) Use of U.S. croplands for biofuels increases greenhouse gases through emission from land use change. Science 319:1238–1240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sheehan J, Camobreco V, Duffield J, Graboski M, Shapouri H (1998) Life cycle inventory of biodiesel and petroleum diesel for use in an urban bus. NREL/SR-580-24089, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, COGoogle Scholar
  29. Sheldon RA (1994) Consider the environmental quotient. Chemtech 24:38–47Google Scholar
  30. Straathof AJJ, Panke S, Schmid A (2002) The production of fine chemicals by biotransformations. Curr Opin Biotechnol 13:548–556CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seungdo Kim
    • 1
  • Concepción Jiménez-González
    • 2
  • Bruce E. Dale
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemical Engineering & Materials ScienceMichigan State UniversityLansingUSA
  2. 2.GlaxoSmithKline, CEHSSResearch Triangle ParkUSA

Personalised recommendations