(492g) Economic and Environmental Sustainability in Single-Use Versus Multi-Use Equipment Decision-Making for Bioprocesses

Przybycien, T., Carnegie Mellon University
Cheng, A. C., Carnegie Mellon University

Single-use (SU), or disposable, equipment is becoming increasingly deployed in industrial bioprocesses.  The economic and environmental benefits of using SU equipment relative to multi-use (MU), or glass and stainless steel, equipment that are typically cited include the significantly lower capital costs, the smaller physical footprint of plastic versus stainless equipment, the ability to campaign SU equipment easily, the reduction in opportunities for cross-contamination and the increased throughput and reduced environmental footprint provided by the elimination of clean-in-place and sterilize-in-place cycles.  While a number of economic studies and life cycle assessments have been reported for SU processes, a holistic sustainability analysis is lacking.  We have begun to address this need by examining economic performance metrics (cost of goods, return on investment, payback time and net present value) and environmental performance metrics (mass indexes and environmental impact indexes) for SU versus MU processes in the face of uncertainty and for hybrid SU/MU processes.  We will report on our evaluation of processes to produce high-value (monoclonal antibodies), medium-value (biosimilars) and low-value (industrial enzymes) products.