Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

Target sector technology database

The most fundamental barrier to the implementation of renewable energy sources within the EU leather sector is the lack of freely available technical knowledge on how energy recovery and reuse can be achieved. The database aims to provide more readily available access to that knowledge.

Currently although technologies for renewable sources or biomass are available, few are applicable within the leather sector because of the peculiarities of the biomass itself. The majority of the biomass (waste) from the sector is collagen (hide) based.

However, it has been clearly demonstrated that only pyrolytic, liquefaction or autothermic gasification, incorporating significant reduction zones can accommodate such a waste stream. For the treatment of chromium containing waste in the leather industry; gasification was selected in preference to pyrolysis principally because of the potential to recycle chromium from the inert product ash resulting from the process. This significantly limits the number of thermal technologies that would be suitable for implementation.

Furthermore strict pre-selection procedures were used in order to limit the database contents to only those manufacturers that provided systems most appropriate for application to the gasification of solid tannery waste. In narrowing the field of search the database has been simplified and made much more practical.

Benefits to manufacturers included subsequent exposure to a new technology market opportunity within the EU target sector. European tanners also have a demand to reduce operational costs in the light of international competition and as such will express strong demand for a proven gasification process; EU technology providers could fill this market gap to the advantage of both parties.

The database is to be disseminated among those interested throughout the target sector in order to facilitate the development of gasification within the leather industry.

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