ACS GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable—Catalyzing green chemistry & engineering in the global pharmaceutical industry.

Streamlined PMI-LCA Tool for Small Molecule API

This Excel tool is intended as a high-level estimator of process mass intensity (PMI) and environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) that can be customized to fit a wide variety of linear and convergent processes for small molecule APIs. The streamlined tool is not comprehensive but “fit for purpose” to benchmark and quantify improvements towards greener and more sustainable manufacturing processes by displaying trends in environmental footprint reduction. The source of the life cycle assessment (LCA) data is provided by Ecoinvent’s v2.2 database without licensing fee provided the display is limited to a maximum of 6 LCA indicators. The main 4 categories are Mass Net, Energy, Global Warming Potential, and Water Depletion, with additional 2 categories (Acidification, Eutrophication) available.

This tool harmonizes the results by normalizing all input steps to produce 1 kg API. Step values and overall cumulative values for PMI and 6 LCA categories are displayed in both table and graphical formats, and hotspots for PMI and LCA are highlighted based on selected input thresholds.

Team Lead


Frank Roschangar
Frank Roschangar

Team Members

David Constable (ACS), Jared Piper (Pfizer), Barry Dillon (Pfizer), Alex Crampton (AZ), Alex Mullen (AZ), John Hayler (GSK), Guy Humphrey (Merck), Frank Roschangar (BI), David Leahy (Takeda), Dan Bailey (Takeda), Laurent Delhaye (UCB), Peter Hermsen (InnoSyn)


Robust and practical Streamlined Tool for PMI-LCA data of small molecule API processes to support internal development and bench-marking

Team Folder

DMS: PMI-LCA Focus Team


Tool Development & Benchmarking
Member companies are encouraged to use the tool and submit one project consisting of an early stage/ supply and a late stage/ commercial route before the March 2019 meeting.

Last Updated: October 2020


  • Collected feedback on the redesigned tool and tutorial from the Focus Team. Overall comments confirmed the practicality of the new tool.
  • Focus Team endorsed roll-out of the new tool.


  • Streamlined tool is not comprehensive, it is “fit for purpose” to show trends in small molecule API production.
  • EcoInvent v2.2 does not contain most recent LCI data. There is no licensing fee using v2.2 provided the displayed results are limited to 6 categories.
  • Benchmarking strategy requires alignment on PMI-LCA calculations to start with all iGAL aligned starting materials.
  • Statistically relevant benchmarking requires more comprehensive dataset.

Activity Snapshot

  • Updates to the tutorial based on Focus Team feedback including addition of a Quick Guide
  • Data collection for benchmarking initiative with the goal of at least 30 commercial processes (summary table from the tool)
  • Principle Component Analysis (PCA) of the dataset to evaluate trends between PMI and LCA metrics

Upcoming Projects

  • Roll-out redesigned PMI-LCA tool to all PR members and encourage feedback (Fall meeting)
  • Request benchmarking data from PR (Dec 2020)
  • Present results of PCA using the extended benchmarking datasets (2021 Spring meeting