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Innovative technologies for sustainable production of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients

   Chemistry & Chemical Engineering

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  Dr Panagiotis Manesiotis, Dr Mark Muldoon, Dr L Moura  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

This project will investigate approaches that will make the manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) more sustainable. This is a collaborative project between Queen’s and Eli Lilly, a globally leading biopharmaceutical company who have been manufacturing pharmaceuticals in Ireland for over 40 years.

Pharmaceutical production is a complex process, which involves multiple chemical steps to produce the final product. Each step is different and involves a wide range of reagents and conditions. However, what is typical is that most of the steps generate substantial quantities of waste, particularly organic solvents. Such solvents represent the largest volume of pharmaceutical manufacturing waste, thus devising strategies to reduce the use, or effectively recover and reuse, solvents will have a significant impact on the sustainability of API manufacturing processes. Solvents themselves can be expensive and recovery and recycling using traditional methods (e.g. distillation) is very energy intensive. One aspect this project will focus on is the use of materials to assist in the separation of solvent mixtures and remove or substantially reduce the need for distillations. Novel materials can also be studied for another important separation challenge: the removal and isolation of metals. Expensive and rare precious metals are often used in the production of pharmaceuticals as catalysts, and these need to be removed from the pharmaceutical ingredients before final formulation and distribution. Developing more effective and sustainable approaches to recovery and recycling of these metals will enable a circular economy approach to be used for these diminishing resources.

The successful candidate will join the academic team at Queen’s to conduct their research on this project within the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Apart from access to the state-of-the-art facilities of the School, and the training courses offered by the world class Queen’s Graduate School, the student will avail of the opportunity to spend up to nine months on an industrial placement in the laboratories of Eli Lilly in Kinsale (Cork), experiencing an industry-based work culture and further developing their professional skills.

For more information please contact: Prof Panagiotis Manesiotis ([Email Address Removed]

Applications must be submitted online, by the deadline, using the QUB Direct Application Portal

Funding Notes

• Full eligibility (including residency conditions) and funding information can be viewed via
• Candidates must possess or expect to obtain, a 2:1 or first-class degree in Chemistry or closely related discipline
• Candidates must be available to start the post by October 2023
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