Innovation & Sustainable Value Creation
Invest in technologies with a low environmental footprint
The main goal is to build strong manufacturing and R&D capacities to better face environmental, economical and social challenges.
The main advantages of Flow Chemistry for SEQENS and our customers are linked to sustainability (economic, environmental and social impact).
Flow Chemistry is a process characterized by a gain in chemical efficiency: continuous plug flow or stirred-tank cascades of reactors allow a tighter residence time distribution than batch, and in many cases, a better selectivity. All these elements contribute to minimizing secondary reactions and the formation of impurities: the quality of the products is correspondingly improved and the environmental footprint of such processes is reduced drastically.
Biocatalysis is the use of natural catalysts, such as enzymes, in an organic synthesis reaction. For this purpose, enzymes that have been more or less isolated and/or enzymes that are still in living cells are used. For more than 20 years, thanks to its subsidiary, Protéus by SEQENS is specialized in biocatalytic processes.
Favor eco-design and circular economy
SEQENS continuously work to create more sustainable products and manufacturing processes. Here are some examples of projects which allow the industry to reduce its environmental impact:
Solvent recovery is the process of extracting useful materials from waste or solvents’ by-product generated during the manufacturing process. These chemicals can then be reused, reducing the need to produce new solvents, while eliminating a large amount of waste and removing potentially hazardous substances from what remains. SEQENS Customs Specialties unit in the UK has developed an efficient technology that is now regenerating up to 10,000 tons of reusable solvents for the chemical industry.
Salty, a circular economy project
This project is an example of the circular economy. Instead of sending 600 to 700 tons/day of waste water containing 18% of NaCl to the waste water treatment unit of industrial platform WWTP, our SEQENS EDS team based in Yangzi succeed, after implementing an oxidation process, to send 50% of the concern flow to a partner (Phase I). This partner is SEQENS manufacturing site’s own NaOH and H2 supplier who uses this solution as a raw material for NaOH production.
After Phase I launched in 2018, the objective of Phase II is to treat, before the end of 2021, all the salty waters (600 to 700 tons/day) and send them to SPC, approximately 24kt per year of 18% NaCl salt solution, closing the loop.
Estolides are polyesters of fatty acids, interesting for their texturizing, lubricating, plasticizing, emulsifying and moisturizing power. They are notably used in the automotive, cosmetics and food industries.
Green Estolides is a solvent-free and biodegradable process. The project started in 2016 and is fully in line with the core missions of Protéus, which proposes, designs, and develops enzymes and biocatalytic processes for use in the chemical industry.
The objective of this project, currently in the pre-industrial phase, is to propose the design of estolides from vegetable oil and promote the reduction of the carbon footprint.
Currently, estolides are synthesized from fatty acids at very high temperatures and in the presence of chemical catalysts. The products obtained are often highly colored and of unsatisfactory purity.
Green Estolides is more competitive because it allows using lower temperatures (below 90°C) and removing the need for solvents.
In addition, the process is more eco-friendly: The estolides have a higher molecular weight and better purity.
Accelerate sustainable manufacture and supply of molecules essential for our health and economy
Supported by the “France Relance program”, SEQENS invests in new technologies and is committed to producing essential molecules to secure the supply chain of critical medicine at 5 of its French sites.
SEQENS’ investments will allow us to:
- Secure the supply chain of essential medicine by relocating the production of their key active ingredients and intermediates
- Build a production unit for Highly Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (HPAPI)
- Create a new Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) production unit
In few months, SEQENS has heavily invested in order to meet the growing demand for the development and production of critical molecules such as antivirals or anti-cancer drugs, but also to complete SEQENS’ industrial facilities, in particular, for the production of highly active ingredients and for the production of continuous flow intermediates.
This new unit will complement SEQENS’ existing facilities and will produce antivirals and anti-cancer drugs.
The new unit will be based, in particular, on the modernization and automation of existing facilities equipment. The Aramon site will house a new solid filtration/drying line in a controlled atmosphere zone.
At the same time, other upgrading actions will be carried out (laboratory renovation, revamping storage, etc.) in order to host the new products.
SEQENS has decided to deploy the Flow Chemistry technology for one its R&D center (SEQENS’ Lab) and one of its manufacturing site SEQENS CDMO Couterne. Those two industrial units will allow to produce GMP and non-GMP intermediates for pharmaceutical or non-pharmaceutical use.
Accelerate the development and industrialization of pharmaceutical molecules, thanks to the modernization of our Research & Development tools, digitalization and innovation.
SEQENS plan to invest in a new isopropyl alcohol (IPA) unit with very high energy and environmental performance that will increase the current capacity by 40%.
Start-up planned for March 2022
IPA is one of the main solvents used in the production of intermediates and active pharmaceutical ingredients. It is also used in hygiene products.
SEQENS is investing to modernize two of its CDMO manufacturing sites in order to increase their production capacity.