Green circular economy applied to peptide synthesis


*Corresponding authors
1. Peptide Science Laboratory, School of Chemistry and Physics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
2. KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP), School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
3. CIBER-BBN, Networking Centre on Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine and Department of Organic Chemistry, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
4. Institute for Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia (IQAC-CSIC), Barcelona, Spain


While the focus of industry was once to cover people’s needs, it is now imperative to address how to minimize or even stop generating waste, either by decreasing the amount produced or by recycling and reusing it in the same or another synthetic flow. The closed-loop strategy has gained ground in the context of global resource depletion. In this regard, renewable and sustainable processes are required to benefit both the industrial economy and environment. Here we discuss several aspects related to the circular economy, and how this economic system correlates to green chemistry and its application to the peptide science field.


Origin, definition & Perspective

The modern concept of circular economy (CE) arose in China in response to China’s unrestrained economic growth and limited resources (1). However, its roots can be found in the XIX century in two books written by Simmonds, who was the editor of The Journal of the Applied Science, both entitled ‘Waste Products and Undeveloped Substances’, published in 1873 (2). Simmonds called to reusing of the waste either that we generate or that lie around us in abundance. He said, “this book has given various hints that lead to the establishment of profitable economic industries and useful applications of several formerly neglected natural resources”.


Later, in 1966, Boulding’s book entitled ‘The Economics of the Coming Spaceship Earth’ introduced and shaped the concept of sustainability in the economy (3). In 1976, Stahel and Reday introduced the research report entitled ‘The Potential for Substituting Manpower for Energy’ into the European Commission and framed the economy in loops, studying its impact on job creati ...