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Solvent selection guide: a guide to the integration of environmental, health and safety criteria into the selection of solvents


 A practical, easy to use Solvent Selection Guide has been developed to provide a concise source of selected information and guidance to chemists and engineers to assist with their selection of solvents. It provides a relative ranking, and is limited by design to the inherent environmental, health and safety issues, in combination with general and specific process and facility issues associated with each solvent. These represent areas that are not always considered by R&D chemists and engineers during normal product or process development. The guide is intended to augment existing processes that mostly consider only technical, cost and regulatory aspects so that chemists and engineers may make more broadly considered solvent selections early in the chemical development process. The Guide currently includes a total of 35 solvents which were most commonly used in SmithKline Beecham (SB) Research and Development and manufacturing activities over the past three years, although the methodology used to develop the guide is readily applicable to other solvents. Detailed guidance is provided in a manual, and is summarized within charts which relatively rank and identify solvents and key issue areas, provide information on the new International Conference on Harmonization (ICH) guidelines for residual solvents in final pharmaceutical products, and supply data for co-solvent selection. The latter chart enables a chemist or engineer to choose solvents based on the ease of separation, which maximizes solvent utilization, recovery, and re-use. There is also a summary sheet for each solvent which reviews the scores and major issues for all the key categories used to develop the Environment & Safety Guide and provides essential solvent property data.

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Received: 5 November 1998 / Accepted: 11 February 1999

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Curzons, A., Constable, D. & Cunningham, V. Solvent selection guide: a guide to the integration of environmental, health and safety criteria into the selection of solvents. Clean Products and Processes 1, 82–90 (1999).

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  • Solvent Property
  • Regulatory Aspect
  • Safety Criterion
  • Issue Area
  • Concise Source