3 Key Ways to Reduce the Cost of Your Metal Removal
The unique and exciting properties of transition metal catalysts enable chemists to dial in incredible levels of molecular complexity with minimal synthetic steps. By significantly reducing plant time you can create huge cost savings which often offset the catalyst cost. However, all this can be undermined if the cost of removing the trace metal is too high.
Below are three ways that you can reduce the costs of metal removal:
1. Consider the bigger picture
There are many ways to remove unwanted metals from your product and it is very easy to look only at the price of the reagent. A US pharmaceutical company recently compared the cost of using activated carbon vs a scavenger, the outcome of which was quite surprising. The crux of the problem was that the carbon bound the API and so needed to be washed with both water and methanol. Moving to the scavenger, which did not retain any of the API, allowed them to improve their yield saving 1 batch in 20. This, combined with the additional cost of the waste solvent associated with using activated carbon, gave them an overall reduction in operational costs of 62% using the scavenger which was previously perceived to be more expensive than carbon.
2. Optimise the process from the start
If your problem is a tricky one and standard techniques are not good enough, you may have to turn to a specialist scavenger. Many companies have in house screening programmes to compare the different available scavengers on the market. These programmes often look at how low the scavengers can get the metal concentration, but frequently don’t examine their loading capacity at this stage. Selecting a scavenger with a high capacity will allow you to use less of it to achieve the same results, with the potential for significant cost savings.
3. Recover the precious metals
If your impurity is palladium or another precious metal, you could consider recovering the value of the metal through refining. High capacity scavengers will not only remove the metal to the required level, but can also concentrate it so refining becomes economic whilst reducing your carbon footprint in the process.
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