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Innovative Mechanochemical Processes to synthesize green ACTIVE pharmaceutical ingredients.

Project description

A new environmentally friendly way of producing drugs

Mechanochemistry is a pioneering, low-cost way of inducing chemical processes via mechanical stress. Potentially, it could be used to mitigate the considerable environmental impact of drug manufacturing because mechanochemistry is less energy-intensive, emits less CO2, and does not require chemical solvents. In a pilot scheme, the EU-funded IMPACTIVE project will develop mechanochemical processes to produce several active pharmaceutical ingredients used in drugs. If the concept is proven viable, drug manufacturing would then meet the new environmental stipulations imposed by the EU Green Deal. Results will be openly shared with pharmaceutical manufacturers and other interested parties to promote awareness and adoption of this potentially game-changing process.


The environmental impact of the pharmaceutical industry is a huge problem. The production and use of pharmaceuticals cause high CO2 emissions, contamination of soils, biota, and water, and even dangers to human health through carcinogenic impurities. Especially the use of solvents is a major problem. The European Green Deal has led to strict regulations on environmental pollution by the pharma industry, causing manufacturers to move outside of the EU due to the high costs associated with green pharma. This results in supply chain fragility and low crisis preparedness in Europe. New methods to produce pharmaceuticals in a green, efficient, and economically friendly way are required.

The IMPACTIVE project brings together the expertise and knowledge from two COST Actions and will develop novel green methods to produce active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) using mechanochemistry as a disruptive technology (as acknowledged by IUPAC). Mechanochemistry uses mechanical processes, such as ball milling, twin-screw extrusion, resonant acoustic mixing, and spray drying, to induce chemical reactions.

The advantages of mechanochemistry include: no solvent use, high efficiency, low costs, and reduced energy use and CO2 emission. Upon completion of the project, we will provide proof-of-concept at a small pilot scale of the use of mechanochemistry to produce 6 APIs from 3 different families of compounds. Based on a recent study, switching to mechanochemistry can reduce terrestrial ecotoxicity and CO2 emissions by more than 85%, while production costs were reduced with 12%. The results of the IMPACTIVE project will thus enable pharmaceutical manufacturers to move back to Europe while minimizing environmental pollution.Through our strong dissemination and communication strategy we will ensure that the project?s results are shared with scientists, the pharmaceutical industry, and stakeholders from regulatory and public authorities to achieve maximum impact.


Net EU contribution
€ 1 945 046,00
34090 Montpellier

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Occitanie Languedoc-Roussillon Hérault
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 2 004 423,75

Participants (15)

Partners (4)