Sunday, November 24, 2013

What can be done to reduce tannery pollution


Scientists at the Central Leather Research Institute in India have established a way to modify the tanning process in order to make it more eco-friendly and cost-efficient with no observable loss of leather quality.  Researchers found that simply reversing the order of the tanning and post-tanning steps, while simultaneously promoting non-chemical-based pre-tanning methods, reduced the amount of chemicals released by 82% and made an energy saving of nearly 40%. These findings were published in the Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology. According to the head of this study, Raghava Rao, “The significance is tremendous in the context of environmental challenges being faced by the leather industry.”  [1]


Beginning in 2010, the European Union funded a project called Tileather ('Ecofriendly Leather Tanned with Titanium').  The main objective of this project was to develop a new chrome-free leather tanning method that would reduce the potential risk to humans and the environment.  Tileather researchers came upon the idea of using titanium as an alternative to chrome, and it was soon found that titanium produces leather that is light and strong, yet is biocompatible with human tissues; it is innocuous, hypoallergenic and biodegradable. The new process eliminates chromium completely, while producing leather with similar properties. 
Once the new process was established and tested, the project team began manufacturing the product under the trade name Sanotan, and supplied it to various producers.
Over the two years that Tileather was mannufactured, project partners say they managed to eliminate 25.5 tons of chromium compounds from their tanning processes while reducing their CO2 emissions by 35 tons. [2]

 Below is great video about Tileather, found on


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