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Environmental, Health & Safety :: Environmental Management :: Sustainability

March 1, 2006

A Modern Approach to Solvent Selection

Although chemists’ and engineers’ intuition is still important, powerful tools are becoming available to reduce the effort needed to select the right solvent

Rafiqul Gani, Technical University of Denmark; Concepción Jiménez-González, GlaxoSmithKline; Antoon ten Kate, Akzo Nobel; Peter A

While solvents have a very wide range of application, many of the commonly used solvents pose serious environment, health and safety (EHS) concerns, including human and eco-toxicity issues, process safety hazards and waste management issues. Furthermore, solvents are subject to increasing and continuous regulatory scrutiny. One consequence is the need to avoid the use of organic solvents where possible. When elimination is not feasible, efforts should be made to optimize, minimize and recycle solvents in order to reduce the EHS impact and move towards more sustainable practices by following green chemistry and engineering principles [1]. Therefore, the drive to develop cleaner technologies with lower environmental impact has led to increased research on solvents, with special emphasis on selecting the most appropriate solvent and on developing new solvents to meet targeted properties....

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