Come on, Cyrene! Finding safer alternatives to chemicals of concern
Every June, the annual meeting of green chemistry practitioners brings inspiring news. This year’s Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference convened by the American Chemical Society’s Green Chemistry Institute once again delivered on the promise of innovation toward safer and more sustainable chemicals.
One example of this innovation is the recently launched biosolvent, Cyrene, developed through a collaboration between a small Australian company, Circa Group, and the global lab services company, Merck KGaA. The producers claim the new solvent is preferred for a list of green chemistry reasons, and that seems to be playing out.
This news is especially interesting to the industries that use conventional solvents with known health and environmental concerns. NMP and DMF are two example solvents with known concerns and corresponding regulatory restrictions. Safer alternatives to NMP and DMF are of high interest to global consumer products brands, as well as NGOs.
But how does one determine if an alternative chemical is safer? A traditional approach is to check the chemical for its presence on regulatory and authoritative chemical lists. These lists show chemicals that are known to cause concerns for one or more reasons. Does the chemical have potential to cause cancer? California’s Proposition 65 List includes some of those chemicals. Other lists cover other concerns. But while these lists are useful for indicating what chemicals are known by an authority to be of concern, not being listed is not proof the chemical is safe.
In our work at Scivera with global consumer products brands and their suppliers, the task of using lists to flag chemicals of concern is just the first step. The much more important task of finding safer alternatives is where the interesting work begins. The good news is that SciveraLENS® makes this process very easy for anyone, and we have dramatically changed the cost profile for getting this work done.
To show how this process can work on SciveraLENS using the example of Cyrene, we’ve enabled anyone to access the full Chemical Hazard Assessment (CHA) completed by Scivera board-certified toxicologists. You just need to take 3 easy steps:
- Set up a free trial account on SciveraLENS Rapid Screen
- Create a new Quick Collection in your new SciveraLENS account
- Enter the CAS Registry Number for Cyrene [53716-82-8] and step through the guided wizard to see the full CHA results
BONUS: Add NMP [CASRN 872-50-4] and DMF [CASRN 68-12-2] to your Quick Collection for quick and easy comparison with Cyrene.
Completing the chemical hazard assessment step in the search for safer alternatives was once a very time consuming, expensive, and complex process. SciveraLENS has changed that. Retailers, brands, manufacturers, and chemical formulators can now investigate safer alternatives as individual ingredients, or formulations.
Scivera has also grouped thousands of CHAs by functional use keyword, so you can see what chemicals have similar uses and compare all for safer alternatives. Subscribers to SciveraLENS can also share results with colleagues and customers, while protecting their confidential ingredient information via automated redaction.
Finding safer alternatives like Cyrene has never been easier or more accessible.
Contact Scivera if you’d like to see more safer alternative solvents and their CHAs or if you have any questions about how SciveraLENS can help your work or your suppliers in the search for safer alternatives.
Chemical & Engineering News: “New solvent, Cyrene, takes on NMP” (2019)