Which solvent should I choose ?

Today’s posting is going to cater more towards the process chemists out there.  I remember plenty of times, where I was given a procedure to work on and there were improvements to be made before it was scaled up or improvements needed to be made because there was an unfavourable facet to the reaction (such as the reagent, the solvent, etc.).  I remember having a list of accepted solvents that if I was going to improve a reaction and replace the solvent, I would consult that list.   Sometimes, you even wish that your Discovery group would have a sense of the acceptability of some solvents over others.  Don’t suggest to me to use carbon tetrachloride, benzene or (fill in the blank) in that reaction that needs to be scale-up.  I must give kudos to the colleagues at GSK for publishing this article in Green Chemistry entitled “Expanding GSK’s solvent selection guide – embedding sustainability into solvent selection starting at medicinal chemistry” by Richard K. Henderson et al, Green Chemistry, Green Chem., 2011,13, 854-862, DOI: 10.1039/c0gc00918k.  I don’t think I have seen anything like it before.  For those of you, that either don’t have a list or are fresh out of school, this is one of those papers that you might think of having in your collection.  I like the use of color-coding and the ability to quickly see if your solvent has a regulatory issue or if it has a stability issue (like forming peroxides), or the number of azeotropes it forms with something.  It seems like it would be an ideal reference to have if you are in chemical process development.  I got away with no structures with this posting.  I promise some with the next post.  Have a great week !!  (This was a posting from PHARMNBIOFUEL.COM, an older website).

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