'Green' leather is in this season

October 8, 2007

Fashionista’s after the latest in leather bags could soon have a ‘greener’ selection to choose from. Scientists in India have modified the tanning process making it far more eco-friendly, reports Anne Pichon in Chemistry & Industry magazine.

Tanning is a complex chemical process used to transform perishable raw hides and skins into durable leather. Unfortunately, as a result, high levels of pollution are released into the water. Raghava Rao and his team at the Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI) in Adyar have modified the process to make it into an eco-friendly, cost-efficient method.

The researchers found that simply reversing the order of the tanning and post-tanning steps can drastically improve the process. By also promoting non-chemical-based pre-tanning methods, they have reduced the amount chemicals released by 82% and made an energy saving of nearly 40% (Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology, doi: 10.1002/jctb.1727).

According to Rao, “The significance is tremendous in the context of environmental challenges being faced by the leather industry”. Most importantly, no loss of the leather quality was observed when compared with conventional tanning methods.

Source: Society of Chemical Industry

Explore further: Major step forward for environmentally friendly leather tanning

Related Stories

Skin demand threatens Nigeria crocs

May 12, 2009

Business is booming at Ismail Dauda's crocodile tannery in northern Nigeria, but environmentalists fear soaring demand for skins could be driving the reptiles to extinction.

How soon could car seats enter the 3-D comfort zone?

May 23, 2013

New 3D textiles made of recyclable polyester fibres could contribute help cars be easier to recycle. But recycling technology has yet to progress in separating seat material from other car components.

Adhesives and insulating foams from softwood bark tannins

February 23, 2015

In collaboration with its partners, VTT developed tannin extraction from softwood bark as part of an ERA-NET project. At least 130 kg of crude tannin powder can be produced from one tonne of dry wood bark, still leaving 87% ...

Software cos. eye key patent case in Supreme Court

November 8, 2009

(AP) -- With the technology industry looking on, the Supreme Court on Monday will explore what types of inventions should be eligible for a patent in a pivotal case that could undermine such legal protections for software.

Recommended for you

Can Paris pledges avert severe climate change?

November 26, 2015

More than 190 countries are meeting in Paris next week to create a durable framework for addressing climate change and to implement a process to reduce greenhouse gases over time. A key part of this agreement would be the ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.