Solvent impact assessment for the “One-Flow Functional Solvent Factory”

O.M. Morales-Gonzalez, C. Zhang, S. Li, V. Hessel (Corresponding author)

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6 Citations (Scopus)
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In the ONE-FLOW project, the concept of a “Functional Solvent Factory” is proposed, in which designer and conventional solvents are used to transform a multiphase system into a single phase system. This change of phases is alike to the creation and the disruption of compartmented spaces, which will be used for conducting multi-step reactions in a continuous flow. Due to the large availability to a great number of solvents, it is imperative to make a holistic solvent selection. Selection which must be in line with the environmental targets of the pharmaceutical industry. Herein, it is elaborated a methodology to assess common and neoteric solvents for its application in the Functional Solvent Factory. Solubility is taken as the main criterion for the assessment in the Functional Solvent Factory case; however, the solubility of a chemical in a particular solvent is not always known. Therefore, a method to circumvent the lack of solubility data, from an environmental perspective, is proposed. Afterwards, the methodology is applied to assess common solvents. The assessment considered economic and safety constraints. Decan-1-oic acid and 2-octanone were found to be the best solvents for the cascade selected. Thereafter, the environmental assessment showed that Decan-1-oic acid is the best option for the cascade. The aim of this methodology was also to include and compare ionic liquids with conventional solvents, and find the most sustainable option. Applying the methodology to compare an ionic liquid with a conventional solvent was found that the environmental impact of an ionic liquid can be lower to that of a conventional solvent. This is possible when the compound of interest has a higher solubility in the ionic liquid compared with the conventional solvent.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100024
Number of pages10
JournalChemical Engineering Science: X
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • Green solvents
  • LCA
  • Neoteric solvents
  • Solvent assessment


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