Recycled gold from SIM cards could help make drugs more sustainable

Read the full story from Imperial College London.

Researchers have used gold extracted from electronic waste as catalysts for reactions that could be applied to making medicines.

Cold chain traceability system tackles food, pharmaceutical waste

Read the full story at Environment + Energy Leader.

A cold chain traceability system powered by an Internet of Things platform that will help keep food and medical products safe throughout transport as well as improve supply chain sustainability is being developed by Ericsson and DeltaTrak.

Sustainable Chilled Water Systems in Pharmaceutical Plants

Read the full story at Chiller & Cooling Best Practices.

Chiller & Cooling Best Practices Magazine spoke with Tom Pagliuco, Executive Director Global Energy Engineering at AbbVie, Inc. about best practices for optimizing chilled water systems in today’s pharmaceutical operations.

Pagliuco has a wealth of experience in energy management having served in energy leadership roles at leading pharmaceutical companies such as Schering-Plough Corporation and Merck, as well as Allergan, which AbbVie recently acquired. He spearheaded numerous energy-initiatives that gained wide-spread recognition for several companies from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® program – including earning eleven ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Sustained Excellence awards since 2009.  

AstraZeneca: Energy and Environmental savings through continuous monitoring and advanced energy analytics

Read the full case study.

AstraZeneca is a global biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialization of prescription medicines. The campus in Gaithersburg is one of three of AstraZeneca’s global strategic R&D centers. With 9 buildings across the campus, there are significant savings opportunities associated with the operations of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems for offices, labs, and manufacturing areas. Implementing a continuous HVAC controls and monitoring system using advanced analytics and machine learning capabilities has been identified as a key strategy to achieving higher efficiency and reducing environmental impacts for the campus. To implement this strategy, AstraZeneca engaged a third-party vendor through a 3-year energy monitoring contract to provide virtual sub-metering and dashboards for tracking and monitoring energy usage.

Webinar: Sustainable Packaging Opportunities in Life Sciences

Tuesday, March 17, 1 pm CT
Register here.

For decades pharmaceutical companies have had to choose the health of patients over the health of the planet. Providing access to drugs around the world typically means an excess of temperature-controlled packaging such as Styrofoam. However, this packaging is also one of the most toxic for the environment.

In our webinar, learn how to overcome that challenge by choosing sustainability without having to compromise compliance or patient health. This webinar explores:

  • Why pharmaceutical packaging is a growing concern
  • The challenges of pharmaceutical/biopharma packaging
  • How pharma and biopharma can develop more sustainable packaging lines and the benefits
  • New materials that help get products to patients safely while lowering their carbon footprint

Sanofi reduces chemical, water use more than 90% with continuous manufacturing

Read the full story at Supply Chain Dive.

Sanofi’s new manufacturing plant in Framingham, Massachusetts, will produce 80% less carbon dioxide emissions compared to the company’s first-generation facility and will reduce water and chemical usage by 91% and 94%, respectively, according to details released by the company.​

The company’s new facility opened last month and uses continuous manufacturing, a process that promises to speed up drug development. It called it “one of the world’s first,” in the release.

Sanofi says the facility will connect research and development processes with production, which it says will speed up the time to market for new medication.

Pharma Industry Emissions Outpace Automotive, Study Finds

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

The pharmaceutical industry is significantly more emission-intensive than the automotive industry, according to a new study from McMaster University (via Science Direct [Journal of Cleaner Production]). The intensity of pharmaceutical emissions is about 55% higher than that of automotive, though there is a great level of variability in emissions between peers with comparable revenues, the report indicates.

Scientists mine for potential drugs in the Berkeley Pit and other industrial sites

Read the full story in Chemical & Engineering News.

The Berkeley Pit, an old mining site now filled with toxic waters, seems like an inhospitable place for organisms big and small. But scientists have found life there. The microbes thriving in the heavy-metal-laden, acidic “lake” synthesize molecules that help keep them alive in this extreme environment. Because those compounds are so potent, researchers hope they can help humans fight too—against antibiotic-resistant bacteria and diseases like cancer. Read on to learn about how scientists are searching the pit and other human-made noxious sites, not only for life but also for lifesaving treatments.

Relevance of regulatory constraints in designing pharmaceutical manufacturing processes: A case study on waste solvent recovery

Hirokazu Sugiyama, Yusuke Morikawa, Mai Matsuura, Menghe Xu (2019). “Relevance of regulatory constraints in designing pharmaceutical manufacturing processes: A case study on waste solvent recovery.” Sustainable Production and Consumption 17, 136-147.

Abstract: This work deals with the relevance of regulatory constraints on the outcome of process design in pharmaceutical manufacturing with a case study on waste solvent recovery. The role of the investigated process was to separate and purify tetrahydrofuran from an azeotropic mixture with water and methanol. As the technologies to overcome the distillation boundary, zeolite membrane, pressure swing, azeotropic distillation, and entrainer processes were considered as alternatives, and were modeled and evaluated with regard to economy, environmental impact, and environmental, health, and safety hazards. The target concentration of recovered solvent, which cannot be altered because of regulations, was imagined to be modifiable, and two design problems, initial and extended, were formulated. A type of pressure swing process that was found to be optimal in the extended problem was equal to or better than any of the optimal alternatives in the initial design problem. Remarkably, the net present value of this alternative was about 17% larger than the maximum in the initial design problem. These results confirmed quantitatively that the way in which regulatory constraints are taken into account makes a difference in the outcome and that the appropriate formulation of a design problem is critical for pharmaceutical manufacturing processes.

Behind the Headline: Allisa Song

Read the full story from ProPublica.

Research scientist Allisa Song didn’t just get outraged when she read ProPublica’s story on medical waste. She organized a dream team of fellow scientists and engineers to invent a solution.