The greening of analytical methods has gained increasing interest in the field of pharmaceutical analysis to reduce environmental impacts and improve the health safety of analysts. Reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) is the most widely used analytical technique involved in pharmaceutical drug development and manufacturing, such as the quality control of bulk drugs and pharmaceutical formulations, as well as the analysis of drugs in biological samples. However, RP-HPLC methods commonly use large amounts of organic solvents and generate high quantities of waste to be disposed, leading to some issues in terms of ecological impact and operator safety. In this context, greening HPLC methods is becoming highly desirable. One strategy to reduce the impact of hazardous solvents is to replace classically used organic solvents (i.e., acetonitrile and methanol) with greener ones. So far, ethanol has been the most often used alternative organic solvent. Others strategies have followed, such as the use of totally aqueous mobile phases, micellar liquid chromatography, and ionic liquids. These approaches have been well developed, as they do not require equipment investments and are rather economical. This review describes and critically discusses the recent advances in greening RP-HPLC methods dedicated to pharmaceutical analysis based on the use of alternative solvents.
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