Exciting Update on Green Solvents for Peptide Synthesis

May 15, 2024

At Red Glead Discovery, we are scientifically driven and committed to environmental leadership. Today, we are thrilled to share that our paper has been published in the Journal of Peptide Science. We hope this could help to transform the way we create peptides in the future. 

Short summary of the paper

Solid-Phase Peptide Synthesis (SPPS) has long been the go-to method for production of research peptides. However, it comes with a significant environmental concern due to the utilization of hazardous solvents such as N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) and N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP). Our dedicated team embarked on a mission to find greener alternatives. They meticulously evaluated five greener solvents as potential substitutes for DMF and NMP in automated SPPS, including N-butylpyrrolidone (NBP). 

Why NBP? 

NBP, despite its structural similarity to NMP, is non-toxic and biodegradable. 

It has a different metabolic profile, making it safer for laboratory use. 

The Outcome

  • Resin Swelling. Understanding resin swelling helps optimize reaction conditions and improve peptide yield. 37 solvents and solvent mixtures were rigorously tested. Approximately half were deemed ineffective. 
  • Dissolution of Reagents. Assessing the dissolution of reagents ensures efficient reactions: Eight promising contenders emerged in this study, including NBP. 
  • Complex synthesis: NBP excelled in the synthesis of complex peptides.  

Our comprehensive study revealed that NBP performs on par with DMF in peptide synthesis.  

What now? 

We are committed to evaluating the potential of phasing out harsh solvents like DMF and NMP. 

Our journey continues as we explore even greener methods for synthesizing peptides.   


Peptide Chemistry – RedGlead Discovery