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FINISHING LEATHER WITH BIOPOLYMERS ADDED WITH NANOCOMPONENTS

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FILE.BIO (FINISHING LEATHER WITH BIOPOLYMERS ADDED WITH NANOCOMPONENTS)

Reporting period: 2016-03-01 to 2016-06-30

The goal of our project is to reduce the negative effects on the environment that derive from industrial finishing operations on leather, which constitute one of the most polluting industrial processes in the leather production cycle.
Mixing fine tuning: the selection and analysis of different percentages of biopolymer has been very fruitful and n.16 biopolymers with excellent characteristics have been identified.
As regards the selection and analysis of nanocomponents, these materials have demonstrated in Lab to produce excellent improvements for coating. Their usage in the treatment of leather has been the subject of the activity “Technical study”.
Technical study: new biopolymers developed have demonstrated in operational environment, to have excellent characteristics for commercial usage while tests in operational environment on nanocomponents, have produced results below performance expectations foreseen. For this reason ALPA has decided to stop the experimentation of nanomaterials identified.
The IP analysis led to the identification of n.2 patents: a Chinese patent and an international one. The latter does not affect our innovation while the Chinese patent will be analyzed more in detail in Phase 2 in order to certify that the composition indicated is totally different to that of ALPA. In any case the Chinese patent is limited to China and not extended to other countries. In addition, China does not represent for ALPA a potentially interesting market. For all these reasons the Chinese patent does not represent a problem for our innovation development.
All potential risks which can harm the project have been identified, with the probability they could happen. Risk-mitigation measures have been listed and described, especially for the technical risks.
The business plan has allowed us to define with precision all the economic variables involved, the required investments, the financial needs and the forecasted turnover, which appears very promising.
Our project will produce the following environmental benefits on the European level:
1) up to a 30% decrease (equivalent to 10 thousand-ton) in the amount of synthetic, potentially pollution substances used in the tanning processes;
2) up to a 30% reduction (equivalent to 15 thousand-ton) in petroleum consumption, in the tanning process;
3) a significant improvement in the work environment of approx. 35,000 persons.
Leather finished