HSP gives you a 2-in-1 methodology for making your processes and products sustainable:
- Using more sustainable ingredients
- Reaching your sustainable solution efficiently
Here's how HSP makes the 2-in-1 possible.
- Identify the chemical (solvent, polymer, particle...) you wish to replace. It might be directly harmful to people and the environment, or might require too many resources to produce it. Be careful to use a Life Cycle Analysis to be sure that your replacement really is more sustainable - there have been too many projects based on good intentions rather than real sustainability.
- By knowing (if necessary, measuring it yourself) its HSP and by having a list of potential replacements, (e.g. Green Solvents) known to be more sustainable, you can quickly sort by HSP Distance and be confident that smaller Distances are likely to lead to an easier drop-in replacement. If you find one that also matches your other criteria (especially cost) then your job is done.
- In order for a solvent to be green it has to be usable. As pointed out in the Green Solvents link above: "... the EU agrees and in CEN/TS 16766:2015 – Bio-based solvents there is a requirement to provide the HSP of your solvent to achieve bio-based solvent certification."
- If a single replacement can't be found then you can use the power of Solvent Blends to create a great match from 2 or more imperfect matches. Users of the HSP approach regularly find that this approach can create a quick win. Because you can create these solvent blends via simple optimization, it is a faster, more efficient process than trial and error, helping you reach your solution efficiently.
- Less can be more. We all want to use less chemicals but sometimes if they are inefficient we have to use more than the minimum. For example, you might need 20% more of the current solvent blend to achieve the desired solubility. Optimizing via HSP can efficiently re-tune your blend with potential greener components. Saving 20% of solvent is good for everyone.
- Sometimes you have to make a double-jump through solubility space. To use a new (say) polymer you need a new solvent. Anyone who has tried such a double jump through trial and error knows how hard and inefficient it can be. If, however, you know the HSP of the new polymer, then finding a sustainable solvent or solvent blend is no harder than in the previous steps. Again we have the double benefit, a better product obtained more quickly.
- The previous point shows another potential of HSP to get you to sustainability. Suppose you want your product to be more recyclable. This might require you to change the base polymer. This in turn will require you to change other parts of your formulation. Again, by matching HSP Distances rationally, making the change is far more efficient and sustainable.
- A still under-utilized capability of HSP is in terms of HSE, Health, Safety, Environment. Crude values such as LogP are unsuited to describing the likely pathways through Gloves, Skin, into the environment etc. where a solubility component must play a role. Happily, HSP are becoming more used in the professional HSE community not only for screening for obviously solubility-related HSE aspects, but also as a core component of deeper QSAR analyses of potential harms.