Foundation: Critical elements

Summary and further reading

This page contains material reproduced from A. J. Hunt, The Importance of Elemental Sustainability and Critical Element Recovery for the Pharmaceutical Industry, in Green and Sustainable Medicinal Chemistry: Methods, Tools and Strategies for the 21st Century Pharmaceutical Industry, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2016, ch. 5, pp. 54-62.. It is copyright to the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and is reproduced here with their express permission. If you wish to reproduce it elsewhere you must obtain similar permission from the RSC.

Many elements that are utilised in chemical manufacturing and other industries are becoming more and more expensive and harder to source, and hence strategies should be adopted that promote the efficient use of those elements.  At present primarily we have a linear system for obtaining elements i.e. extraction, manufacture, use and then at the end-of-life the product becomes waste.  It is essential that we begin to use a more holistic approach including development of sustainable methods for extraction, manufacture, utilisation and recovery, in order to close the resource loop within the chemical manufacturing industry and promote a circular economy (Figure 1), whereby these critical elements are available to be used over and again. 

 

Recommended reading:

A. J. Hunt, The Importance of Elemental Sustainability and Critical Element Recovery for the Pharmaceutical Industry, in Green and Sustainable Medicinal Chemistry: Methods, Tools and Strategies for the 21st Century Pharmaceutical Industry, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2016, ch. 5, pp. 54-62.

A. Hunt, Element Recovery and Sustainability, Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK, 2014.

  1. A. J. Hunt, The Importance of Elemental Sustainability and Critical Element Recovery for the Pharmaceutical Industry, in Green and Sustainable Medicinal Chemistry: Methods, Tools and Strategies for the 21st Century Pharmaceutical Industry, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2016, ch. 5, pp. 54-62.