What role does solvent recovery play in the pharmaceutical production process? Luca Maccioni, Head of Solvent Recovery Operations in SUANFARMA Italia, tells us about the process in this interview.
What is meant by the recovery of exhausted solvents and how is the process carried out?
We can summarize the concept of solvent recovery in a series of operations that allow to purify an exhausted solvent, in order to obtain one of such quality that can be reused in production processes. In our case, the recovery process often consists of an initial evaporation, the purpose of which is to remove solids and compounds with high boiling point, and a subsequent anhydrification, the latter step being performed by distillation or pervaporation.
What kind of training is needed to become a Solvent Recovery manager?
You need a mix of technical and managerial training: the most important technical aspects concern the knowledge of chemical and physical processes, in addition to the preparation in the field of plant engineering; to these it is necessary to associate a certain managerial competence: in a context of transformation of the department having notions of project management is certainly of great help.
What are your main responsibilities?
I am all-round responsible for the production department, from compliance with
safety/environmental standards to the development and coordination of the work group,
obviously including the management of operational activities and continuous improvement projects. It is a challenging job where you never get bored!
What role does the solvent recovery process play in improving the sustainability of SUANFARMA Italia’s production?
Undoubtedly a key role!
In a context of logistical difficulties and high costs of raw materials and energy, being able to recover solvents with a good yield allows us to minimize dependence on the outside world and to reduce costs and emissions associated with the transport of materials and the disposal of exhausts.
The challenge for the future? Minimizing the use of “non-value” energy, this is what we are working on and it will certainly keep us busy in the years to come.
Three words to describe SUANFARMA Italy
Resilience: we are a solid organization that knows how to adapt and anticipate change
Efficiency: the result of a constant effort with the end goal of continuously improving our
Sustainability: we are aware of our environmental, social and economic impact and we are committed to adopting sustainable business models over time.