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Leather Industry By-products Recovery and Subsequent Reutilization


During the tanning process, among the various chemical treatments, several mechanical operations are performed which generate solid wastes composed by organic material of various kind and sizes (from dust to leather off-cuts). Because of their high content of fats and proteins, it's possible to recover them by the use of suitable technologies. The methods are quite different depending on the state of the wastes: if they are tanned or not. In the second case (organic scraps deriving from the fleshing), chrome or other tanning substances are absent and the wastes contains about 50% of fats and high quantity of proteins. On the contrary, it's not so easy to reclaim tanned scraps. In fact they must be purged of chrome and the technogies usually utilized are expensive related to market value of fats and proteins. However the organic material recovered in the various phases of tanning process can be recycled as poultry feed, organic fertilizers, biogas generators, proteic matters, etc. The hair is another solid waste, which can be reclaimed in different way: for making fertilizers, animal feed, thermal insulating materials, Nylon 6,6 and additives in compost production processes. The production of solid wastes from tanneries in Italy is quite relevant (about 270,000 tons/y), so the above mentioned reclaiming technologies will be of great interest for tanning industry.

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Consorzio Sgs SpA
Via nuova francesca 23
56029 Santa croce sull'arno pisa

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