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Design of a solvent recovery system in a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE).
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Utformning av en lösningsmedelsåtervinningssystem i en läkemedelsfabrik (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Solvents play a crucial role in the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) manufacturing and are used in large quantities. Most of the industries incinerate the waste solvents or send it to waste management companies for destruction to avoid waste handling and cross-contamination. It is not a cost effective method and also hazardous to the environment. This study has been performed at AstraZeneca’s API manufacturing plant at Sodertalje, Sweden. In order to find a solution, a solvent recovery system is modeled and simulated using ASPEN plus and ASPEN batch modeler. The waste streams were selected based on the quantity and cost of the solvents present in them. The solvent mixture in the first waste stream was toluene-methanol in which toluene was the key-solvent whereas in the second waste stream, isooctane-ethyl acetate was the solvent mixture in which isooctane was the key-solvent. The solvents in the waste stream were making an azeotrope and hence it was difficult to separate them using conventional distillation techniques. Liquid-Liquid Extraction with water as a solvent followed by batch distillation was used for the first waste stream and Pressure Swing Distillation was used for the second waste stream. The design was optimized based on cost analysis and was successful to deliver 96.1% toluene recovery with 99.5% purity and 83.6% isooctane recovery with 99% purity. The purity of the solvents was decided based on the quality conventions used at AstraZeneca so that it can be recovered and recycled in the same system. The results were favorable with a benefit of €335,000 per year and preventing nearly one ton per year carbon dioxide emissions to the environment. A theoretical study for the recovery system of toluene-methanol mixture was performed. The proposed design was an integration of pervaporation to the batch distillation. A blend of polyurethane / poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PU / PDMS) membrane was selected for the separation of methanol and toluene mixture. The results of preliminary calculations show 91.4% toluene recovery and 72% methanol recovery with desired purity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 58 p.
Keyword [en]
Batch distillation, liquid-liquid extraction, pressure swing distillation, pharmaceutical manufacturing, sustainable development
National Category
Chemical Process Engineering Pharmaceutical Chemistry
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-190901OAI: diva2:953647
Available from: 2016-08-18 Created: 2016-08-18 Last updated: 2016-08-18Bibliographically approved

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School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE)
Chemical Process EngineeringPharmaceutical Chemistry

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