Evaluation of a new sustainable continuous system for processing bovine leather
A3 Chair in Leather Innovation
The aim of the present work is to evaluate a new sustainable continuous system for processing bovine leather. By means of a prototype described in the international patent WO, 2010/070571 (A2) of the technological centre AIICA, a dehydration process for bovine hides is carried out. What is obtained through this new process is a dehydrated leather with the optimal physical and chemical characteristics that will allow its subsequent tanning by immersion processes in aqueous solutions of chemical products. When compared to existing traditional processes, there are economic and environmental advantages resulting from the use of this new system. More specifically, the new process results in reductions of 30.6% in water use, 50.2% in chemical use and 16.4% in process time. In addition, a reduction of 27.3% in wastewater and a reduction of 47.5% of thermal energy consumption are obtained. However, this new system presents an increase in electricity consumption of 63.03% and an increase in gaseous emissions of 75% due to the use of acetone in the dehydration process and the 0.5% losses of acetone during the process. In order to better assess the environmental impact of this new tanning system, life cycle analysis methodology has been chosen to perform calculations on the Global Warming Potential (CO2 equivalent emissions) and the energy consumption comparing both traditional and new tanning processes.
Journal or Serie
Journal of Cleaner Production, 2015, vol. 101, p. 197-204