In the tanning process, several mechanical operations generate solid organic wastes of various kind and size (from dust to leather off cut). Because of their contents of fats and proteins, it is possible to recover them by the use of suitable technologies. The methods are quite different, depending on the state of the waste, if they are tanned or not. In the first case the tanned scraps must be purged from chrome and the technologies usually utilised are expensive related to the market values of fats and proteins. On the contrary, the organic scraps from fleshing and dehairing phases are not tanned and contain high quantity of fats, proteins and amino acids. At present, theoretical studies and experimental trials have been performed in order to utilise the organic material recovered in the various phases of tanning process. They can be utilised as animal feed, organic fertilisers, biogas generators, proteic matters, enzymes, technical fats and raw material for beauty couture, etc. but the present technology doesn't allow to get high gains. This research project has the goal to devise new technologies to recovery from scraps useful materials, like high purity fats and proteins, to be utilised in the tanning cycle; moreover high added value products, used as raw material in other productive cycles (like cosmetics), will be obtained.
It's worth to observe that the production of solid wastes from tanneries is quite relevant (about 1,200,000 tons/y), so the above mentioned reclaiming technologies will be of great interest for tanning industry, particularly for what concerns the improvement of the management and the reduction of both the working cycle costs and the environmental impact.
Funding SchemeCRS - Cooperative research contracts
4520 Santa Maria Da Feira
50050 Cerreto Guidi
2380 Vila Moreira
56029 S. Croce Sull'arno