Executive summary

CHEM21 is a project that will develop a broad based portfolio of sustainable technologies for green chemical intermediate manufacture aimed at the pharmaceutical industry. Initially working with the EFPIA members the collaborators of CHEM21 will analyse a number of projects that are in development to decide which the priorities are for technology development. This analysis will also be used to update the literature of green technology based on updating previous papers.

The technology being developed is divided into three work packages based on chemical catalysis and synthetic methods, biocatalysis and synthetic biology. The first effort will investigate the use of a range of catalysts with a main focus on replacing and applying catalysts based on common metals rather than the precious metal based catalysts that have limitations of sustainable supply. Use of continuous reactors and process intensification will also be addressed as well as fluorination chemistry. In biocatalysis a range of projects based on the needs identified by the chemical round table have been chosen including amide synthesis, stereo- and regio-specific hydroxylation of complex molecules as well as other redox reactions. Again process engineering and supercritical solvents will be developed as intensification methods. In the third part the development of the emerging field of synthetic biology will be addressed with the development of enzymatic chemical cascade pathways in fermentation strains with freedom to operate to produce targets of interest.

Finally the outcomes of the efforts described will be incorporated into education and training efforts to produce the next generation of process chemists with a good understanding of green and sustainable metrics.