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Featuring more than 1,000 searchable technical papers, business features, country commentaries and fashion articles from editions of World Leather going back to 2002. The papers are categorised into nine topics to make the library easy to navigate.

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146 Items Found

Assessing the biodegradability of leather
Spanish research institute Inescop has developed technology that can help tanners make a quick assessment of the impact that new products and processes will have on the biodegradability of their leather.
World Leather - Jun/July 2020
Sacred Cow: It’s the How
The Sacred Cow project is soon to release a book and a movie, making the case for an ethical, regenerative food system built around well-raised cattle.
World Leather - Jun/July 2020
Waste worth billions
Statistics from France’s Conseil National Du Cuir provide a reminder of just how much value tanners and finished product manufacturers are able to add to hides. In the right hands, the worth of the waste that the meat and dairy sectors generate can increase by more than 2000% (two thousand per cent).
World Leather - Jun/July 2020
Time to put the by-product debate to bed
There are ill-founded arguments that the raw material for leather is a co-product rather than a byproduct of the meat and dairy industries. After what the Leather and Hide Council of America has called “a staggering decline” in the hide’s share of cattle value, these arguments have now collapsed.
World Leather - Jun/July 2020
Limited editions, unlimited creativity
Designer Frederikke Antonie Schmidt’s decision to build a high heels label using leather offcuts from other brands has resulted in a shoe collection that is dynamic, playful and sustainable.
World Leather - Apr/May 2020
Sustainable processess
The objective of environmental sustainability is to preserve natural resources, reduce pollution and develop alternative sources of energy. There are different requirements that a process must fulfil to be considered sustainable, and include reducing the resources used in terms of products, water and power, reducing residues and air emissions, using manageable and non-toxic products and using renewable raw materials. With these requirements in mind, Cromogenia Units, S.A offers a variety of sustainable processes for unhairing and tanning.
World Leather - Apr/May 2020
What a waste
Industry body the Leather and Hide Council of America (LHCA) has calculated that 5.5 million hides generated by the US livestock industry in 2019 failed to reach the leather value chain. LHCA said that “a large percentage”, if not quite all, of these hides went to waste.
World Leather - Apr/May 2020
A material for keeping
Entrepreneur Arturas Kanapkis discovered that stylish bags made from Tuscan vegetable-tanned leather chimed perfectly with his love and respect for ageless elegance, allowing him to build up his own leathergoods brand.
World Leather - Apr/May 2020
The ongoing value of waste
Just as tanners are proud of the circular economy cachet that their use of waste from the meat and dairy sectors gives, they have to make the fullest possible use of the waste their own production generates too.
World Leather - Apr/May 2020
Leather ‘holds so much promise’ for Niger
The Enhanced Integrated Framework tells World Leather how it is working with the government to modernise tanneries, train leather workers and set up more advanced systems for skin collection and exports.
World Leather - Apr/May 2020
Blame it on the bovines
Links between the meat and livestock industry and leather is one of the themes we have set out to cover in depth in the course of 2019. Part of the ongoing debate is the contribution livestock herds make to greenhouse gas emissions. The statistics are frequently misunderstood and sometimes deliberately exaggerated to paint agriculture, meat and (by extension) leather in a bad light. No one is doing more to present accurate figures and the science behind them to the wider public than Professor Frank Mitloehner.
World Leather - Jun/July 2019
DNA traceability of hides and leather
Applied DNA Sciences (ADNAS) and Eurofins BLC Leather Technology Centre last year completed a successful research project to develop a comprehensive traceability platform for leather. The organisations are now working together on the commercial implementation of this system.
World Leather - Apr/May 2019
A future focused on innovation
Tanning group PrimeAsia hosted an open-house event at its tannery in Vietnam in March to celebrate the completion of an expansion project it began in 2015.
World Leather - Apr/May 2019
Sampling plans for evaluation of leather physical properties
Claims cost money and cause frustration. Tanners need to take a systematic approach to sampling to avoid complaints and criticism from customers.
World Leather - Apr/May 2019
Tannins: a sustainable solution
In the first of two articles, Italian chemicals manufacturer Silvateam offers insight into sources of sustainable tannins from areas of Italy and South America. The second article will contain information about its use of quebracho from Argentina and tara from Peru. This paper focuses on its efforts to source chestnut tannins from Italy in a manner that respects the environment while also supporting the economic growth of local rural areas.
World Leather - Apr/May 2019
Arzignano water treatment plant
Just as the human digestive system is key to helping a person enjoy a long life, the effluent treatment plant operated by Acque del Chiampo in Arzignano plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of this important tanning district. Investment has ensured this should be the case for many years to come.
World Leather - Feb/Mar 2019
Elimination of wastewaters from liming/unhairing and chrome tanning in wet blue manufacture
This paper concerns a radical new approach to the unhairing/liming and chrome tanning processes for wet salted bovine hides. The technology - developed by BIOSK Chemicals, China - was presented at the 11th Asian International Conference of Leather Science and Technology (2018), Xi’an. These techniques, as used by four major tanneries in China, are described in detail where major savings in chemicals and water are being made. In addition, major environmental issues arising from traditional methods of leather making are being avoided.
World Leather - Dec/Jan 2018
Home and dry
Footwear group Ecco made a splash at the 2018 World Water Congress in Tokyo when its tanning division, Ecco Leather, announced a breakthrough that promises important savings in chemicals, sludge and, most importantly, water compared to established leather manufacturing processes. It says its new system, DriTan, can save 20 litres of water per hide.
World Leather - Oct/Nov 2018
No need for waste
Farfetch, a luxury e-commerce marketplace, has launched its own start-up accelerator programme, the Dream Assembly, to help it build “the next generation of fashion and retail technology”. No fewer than three of the initial cohort of 11 start-ups are building their businesses on the idea that long-lasting leather can be shared, repaired and re-used time and time again.
World Leather - Oct/Nov 2018
Lexus-inspired sports shoe
A new handmade shoe from sports brand Norman Walsh takes its inspiration from automotive brand Lexus, including its use of upholstery leather in the upper.
World Leather - Oct/Nov 2018
Kanpur crackdown
Every six years, religious festivals bring millions of pilgrims to Allahabad to bathe in the sacred River Ganges. The next major festival will take place between January and March 2019 and, 200 kilometres up-river, more than 400 tanners in the Kanpur clusters have been banned from making leather for the duration of the event. The consequences for the leather industry in this part of India are likely to be severe.
World Leather - Aug/Sept 2018
We need to talk about chemicals
There is urgent need in the industry for dialogue about making leather chemicals not just effective, but also more efficient so that more of these products fix themselves into the finished leather and lower their impact on effluent treatment plants.
World Leather - Aug/Sept 2018
In praise of zirconium
There is pressure on tanners everywhere to reduce COD values in the wastewater they send to effluent treatment plants. At the 2018 Freiberg Leather Days event, the head of wet end screening at TFL, Florian Döppert, argued that if chrome-free leathers are a company’s focus the impact on COD values in the wet-end wastewater can be high. This article outlines a possible solution to this problem that he presented at the event.
World Leather - Aug/Sept 2018
Plastic has nothing to complain about
Texts about and images of plastic waste polluting beaches and the oceans of the world are turning some consumers against using the material. This ought to offer opportunities for leather to retake some of the market share it has lost to these synthetic materials in recent years. However, the leather industry will need to work hard to take advantage of the anti-plastic mood, which may not last for ever and there is still enormous support, including financial support, for the plastics industry among politicians. And money talks.
World Leather - Jun/July 2018
Arzignano is the leather industry’s Silicon Valley
The much travelled international sales director of leather chemicals group GSC, Diego Cisco, argues that the Arzignano tanning cluster, near his company’s headquarters in northern Italy, can offer an example of leadership, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit to the entire global leather industry.
World Leather - Jun/July 2018
Time for change
The director of the UK Leather Federation, Dr Kerry Senior, argues that the leather industry must work globally to convince brands and consumers to shift away from synthetics and back to leather. His view is that a far more “active and aggressive approach” is required.
World Leather - Jun/July 2018
Reduction of salt usage in leather processing
The issue of salt usage is one which the leather industry is still fighting to address. World Leather technical editor Mike Tomkin delves deeper into why it poses such a big problem and calls on the industry to do more to tackle it head-on.
World Leather - Apr/May 2018
Salting hides needs to stop
Meat consumption will continue and hides will continue to move from abattoirs into leather production. In this article, based on an influential speech he made at the third World Leather Congress in Shanghai in 2017, World Leather’s publisher and chief executive, Simon Yarwood, argues that what must not continue is the practice of salting those hides and shipping them across the oceans of the world so that the excess salt becomes someone else’s environmental problem.
World Leather - Apr/May 2018
Leather or not leather? That is the question
The misuse of the term ‘leather’ and the consequences of such misuse is a topic that has generated much discussion in the leather industry in recent months. In this article, technical editor Mike Tomkin offers some insight into what can be done about it.
World Leather - Feb/Mar 2018
Boron in hide and skin curing processes
With the prevalence of tannery effluent being used for irrigation, tanners need to be aware of the specific monitoring requirements pertaining to soil and water sources as this article about boron illustrates.
World Leather - Dec/Jan 2017
End of life, or the start of a new one?
Technical editor Mike Tomkin sets the scene for one of the special themes World Leather will examine in 2018: end-of-life recycling.
World Leather - Dec/Jan 2017
greenLIFE 6: The social and economic impacts of the new sustainable processes
The final of six greenLIFE articles comes from the University of Padova, which was tasked with carrying out an analysis of the social and economic impacts of the new processes developed.
World Leather - Oct/Nov 2017
greenLIFE 5: Lifecycle assessment of the domestic and industrial wastewater treatment service at the Arzignano treatment works
Green Leather Industry for the Environment (greenLIFE) is a project run by a group of industry partners in Italy’s Arzignano tanning cluster. The project partners have committed to sharing their findings by publishing a series of papers in World Leather. The fifth of six greenLIFE articles comes from the cluster’s wastewater treatment service provider, Acque del Chiampo.
World Leather - Aug/Sept 2017
greenLIFE 4: By-products of the tanning cycle as fertilising components
Green Leather Industry for the Environment (greenLIFE) is a project run by a group of industry partners in Italy’s Arzignano tanning cluster. The project partners have committed to sharing their findings by publishing a series of papers in World Leather. The fourth of six greenLIFE articles comes from biotechnology firm Ilsa, one of the project’s technical partners.
World Leather - June/July 2017
greenLIFE 2: A novel Key Performance Indicator for the assessment of the liming process
Green Leather Industry for the Environment (greenLIFE) is a project run by a group of industry partners in Italy’s Arzignano tanning cluster. The project partners have committed to sharing their findings by publishing a series of papers in World Leather. This is the second of six greenLIFE articles.
World Leather - Feb/Mar 2017
Sustainability in the leather supply chain
Compliance with social and environmental standards is now a must for tanners in most parts of the world, which is helping to redress the imbalance between producers in different continents.
World Leather - Feb/Mar 2017
greenLIFE 1: Oxidative liming
In 2014, two of the biggest tanners in the Arzignano cluster, Gruppo Dani and Gruppo Mastrotto, formally launched a joint project called Green Leather Industry for the Environment (greenLIFE), on which they have worked with three technical partners: chemical supplier Ikem, biotechnology firm Ilsa and the cluster’s wastewater treatment service provider, Acque del Chiampo. It has the aim of promoting sustainability in the tanning industry. Half of the funding for greenLIFE came from the European Union, which has asked the project partners to share their findings with the wider leather industry. The partners have picked World Leather as the ideal platform on which to publish the results of greenLIFE. This paper, the first of six World Leather will publish in the course of 2017, kicks the series off.
World Leather - Dec/Jan 2016
Improving the biodegradability of vegetable tanned leather
Tanning stabilises protein, thus making leathers more difficult to biodegrade than raw hides and skins, composting offers a solution to waste disposal problems associated with these leather products. In this event this offers a strong alternative to land-fill disposal or incineration of waste.
World Leather - Dec/Jan 2016
Aku makes the most of Zero Impact leather
Focus on: Footwear. Italian outdoor footwear brand Aku, a long-term partner of prominent leather producer Gruppo Dani, was the first shoe producer to use Dani’s ‘Zero Impact’ leather in its products as part of a wider drive to become more sustainable.
World Leather - Oct/Nov 2016
The carbon footprint in leather chemicals
While carbon dioxide occurs naturally, it is the most common of the man-made greenhouse gases and is believed to be a significant contributor to global warming. It is not easy for the customer or consumer to know the true value of a product, and specifically the environmental impact. This is in terms of its carbon footprint value, water consumption, resources and harmful substances.
World Leather - Oct/Nov 2016
Kering’s unfair burden on leather
A report in which luxury group Kering assesses progress against its own sustainability targets carries mixed news. Some of the work the group has done is excellent, and its offer to share its findings with the rest of the industry is admirable, but however it places far too great a share of its carbon footprint on leather.
World Leather - Aug/Sept 2016
Nothing to Hide: World Leather completes essay programme
The Nothing To Hide Series is now complete, but the programme is ongoing because the idea is (and always was) for the essays to be accessed, quoted and shared by everyone with an interest in leather. All 15 essays are now available and are free to use.
World Leather - Aug/Sept 2016
Energy from tannery solid waste
Su¨dleder manufactures both chrome tanned and wet white tanned leathers from bovine hides for the automotive sector on a contract tanning basis. The capacity of the plant is up to 3,500 hides per day, and in recent years the company’s objective has been to retain this flexibility.
World Leather - Dec/Jan 2015
Water-repellent and metal-free leathers
The OakLeather range of leathers manufactured by the Carvalhos Group in Portugal’s principal leather manufacturing cluster, Alcanena, are metal-free, based on wet white tanning systems, and incorporate tannins extracted from the bark of oak trees. The original development work commenced around 10 years ago and was focused on the automotive sector. However, the range has now expanded to other uses such as leathers for furniture, leathergoods and shoe uppers and linings.
World Leather - Dec/Jan 2015
Reducing the water footprint and pollution load in leather production with DryFast
BASF outlines how out its Dryfast technology can lead to a lowering of the water footprint. It also reduces processing time and effluent load.
World Leather - Oct/Nov 2015
Addressing flawed information of concern to the leather industry
In conjunction with the report in this issue of World Leather under the heading “A flawed report of concern to the leather industry”, this paper sets down a number points that World Leather believes can be used to support leather sector.
World Leather - Aug/Sept 2015
A flawed report of concern to the leather industry
The information presented in the image above was published in May in the ‘I’ – a daily briefing newspaper with a circulation of some 300,000, an offshoot of its parent newspaper, The Independent, a UK national paper with a circulation of 60,000. In this article and one that follows, we address some of the ways in which the industry can respond when faced with flawed criticism.
World Leather - Aug/Sept 2015
Chasing ‘the Holy Grail’
Focus on: Aviation Leather. Designers have suggested ways tanneries can improve the leathers they offer. But reducing weight and adding flame resistance while maintaining performance is no easy task.
World Leather - Apr/May 2015
The language of luxury
Focus on: Aviation Leather. Aside from its performance characteristics, leather is prolific across the global air fleet for its aesthetic and tactile qualities. Leading design agencies tell us why airlines favour it to convey brand message and quality.
World Leather - Apr/May 2015
Water colours the thinking of OEMs
Automotive brands want to present themselves to consumers as environmentally responsible companies, which means partners all the way along the supply chain, including those involved in producing automotive leather, have had to take creative and, sometimes, as the Quaker Color story shows, pioneering steps to help make this happen.
World Leather - Feb/Mar 2015
The rise of automotive leather
As car manufacturers around the world report record sales and expanding production, the future looks rosy for their leather suppliers. However, it is not all plain sailing: battles over raw material are set to intensify and leather will have work to keep its place in the hearts of consumers.
World Leather - Feb/Mar 2015
A work in progress
COTANCE has shown true leadership in helping the leather industry fight its corner on the question of carbon footprint. Negotiating with the European Commission and with other industries as part of a pilot project is proving to be hard work, but the prize, of leather receiving official recognition as a ‘green’ product, is a precious one. And if COTANCE’s bid to win this prize is successful, there are meaningful, positive consequences for the whole of the global leather industry.
World Leather - Dec/Jan 2014
IPCC puts focus on fossil fuels, not livestock
Campaign groups have complained vocally for years of the damage that greenhouse gas emissions from livestock can cause to the environment. In their most detailed report so far, scientific experts on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change made it clear in November 2014 that, although methane emissions from cattle are a problem, efforts need to concentrate elsewhere, on areas that are easier to mitigate. Their main targets are fossil fuels.
World Leather - Dec/Jan 2014
Remediation of soils contaminated with metals
Valgo is a company dedicated to soil remediation works and decontamination of mainly asbestos from building sites. Several years ago, in collaboration with ECOLAB (a laboratory, part of an institute for agronomy in Toulouse) a study began into the possibilities of removing pollutants from contaminated solid using hyper-accumulators. These are plants that are able to grow in soils with high metals content, and then to accumulate these metals in their roots, shoots or leaves. This process is reported to be very slow, reaching remediation goals in one or more centuries.
World Leather - Dec/Jan 2014
Cows as biodigesters with legs
Concerns about livestock’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions are not new. This represents an area in which the meat industry is working to lower its carbon footprint. One new idea to have come out of agricultural research in Argentina is to show that it is possible to capture, purify and compress some of the gas that cows produce and use it as a source of energy.
World Leather - Dec/Jan 2014
Reducing the carbon footprint of leather
Sustainability in leather production is a widely discussed topic within the leather community. In 20121 and 20144 this important subject was discussed in World Leather, where BASF’s footprint concept was introduced as an integral approach for sustainable leather production. The subject is developed further in this paper in terms of the value of chemicals with lower carbon footprint, and optimisation of production processes, and value assessment in terms of the value chain.
World Leather - Dec/Jan 2014
Better boots have a lower carbon footprint
As consumers become increasingly keen on knowing the environmental profile of all the products they buy, WL Gore has calculated the extent to which high-quality hiking boots can help people keep their carbon footprint as low as possible.
World Leather - Dec/Jan 2014
Leather with high biodegradability: a new step in sustainability
A project named BeNature has been completed based on an aldehyde tannage that has resulted in readily biodegradable leather articles.
World Leather - Dec/Jan 2014
Kering’s sharing
The French luxury group has been working on two novel tanning methods for three years for its Gucci and Bottega Veneta brands, and says it is almost ready to offer the chrome-free and heavy-metal-free developments to the industry.
World Leather - Dec/Jan 2014
H&M takes ambitious strides with new leather strategy
The Swedish fashion retailer has already promoted its work with vegetable tanner Tärnsjö as part of its Conscious collection – and it is now ready to take its leather sourcing one step further.
World Leather - Dec/Jan 2014
Leather as part of a sustainable lifestyle
Many companies in the luxury sector are committed to advancing good social, environmental, and animal welfare practices, including sustainable sourcing practices. And because many of these companies offer footwear, clothing and accessories made from leather, there are important implications for tanners in these strategies of these companies’. They are already looking quite far ahead.
World Leather - Oct/Nov 2014
Centro Tecnologico das industrias do Couro (CTIC) - 20th anniversary
The Leather Technology Centre, Portugal, was created as a result of an initiative between the leather industry and the public institutions IAPMEI (Institute for Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises) and INETI (Portuguese Institute for Engineering and Technology). Known as CTIC it was inaugurated in 1994.
World Leather - Aug/Sept 2014
VOC-free leathers: A moving target
Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds from leather originated as a discussion in the automotive industry, triggered by so-called "Fogging", a physical effect. Nowadays the focus is increasingly on smell and toxicological aspects of VOC emissions. This calls for new tests and bringing substances into the spotlight that have not been considered before. The intent of this paper is to give a short overview of current testing of emissions from leather, and especially new challenges associated with acetaldehyde and propylene glycol ether - fogging problems once considered to be solved that have surfaced again.
World Leather - June/July 2014
Sustainable tanning: waste minimisation in the tannery
Over the last few years the chemical industry has introduced many new technical solutions to the leather industry. Most offer environmental advantage or reduced risk of harm, and these advances are set to continue. In particular, novel enzymatic beamhouse systems and new wet white technologies are two major wet-end process steps where developments have been focused. Advances in these areas will lead to more sustainable leather articles and process conditions with a lower environmental impact.
World Leather - Apr/May 2014
Climate protection and leather
In recent years, the commitment of a company to climate protection has developed into a central competitive factor.The Verband der Deutschen Lederindustrie (Association of the German Leather Industry) recognised the need for a certification of an energy-efficient manufacturing process at a very early stage. In cooperation with the Forschungsgemeinschaft Leder and I-T-G GmbH Gomaringen, the ECO2L label for the documentation of a qualified CCF, and an energy oriented corporate policy was developed.
World Leather - Feb/Mar 2014
Leather and Sustainability
BASF: From Contradiction to Value Creation.
World Leather - Dec/Jan 2013
Real tanneries, real life
The fourth Tannery of the Year Global Awards programme is about to start; the first of the new reports will appear in the next issue of World Leather (December 2013-January 2014). During the first three editions, we have had the privilege of seeing at very close hand the life and work of the 29 finalist tanneries in all parts of the world. This paper highlights just one example from each of their many initiatives showing corporate social responsibility (CSR) in action.
World Leather - Oct/Nov 2013
Composting sludges generated within tannery effluent treatment and other solid waste from leather manufacture
The composting of tannery sludge generated from full effluent treatment of wastewaters from vegetable and chrome tanning processes was investigated. On the basis of these studies all of the sludge from the effluent treatment plant and other organic waste from a tannery are now being composted on site on a full industrial scale.
World Leather - Oct/Nov 2013
Adding substance to sustainability
For those working in the global leather industry, sustainability and the environment take on added importance as it is the tanning industry that converts the by-product of the agricultural and meat industries into a valued product. While the food industry ensures a sustained flow of the by-product for tanneries, at the same time it depends on them to manage environmental issues resulting from its by-product, the hides and skins.
World Leather - Oct/Nov 2013
Utilization of treated tannery effluent for afforestation A case study: Sipcot, Ranipet, India
Tannery effluent after conventional treatment was successfully used for the irrigation of various tree species. Following detailed pilot studies, degraded land in India of approximately 10 acres was converted into a mini forest. The data collected over a twelve-year study within this forest indicated no danger of soil and ground water potential. The effluent discharge was minimized and the wastewater converted into a valuable resource.
World Leather - Oct/Nov 2013
Sustainability at the heart of BASF's core
A state-of-the-art research and design facility for leather chemicals at BASF’s headquarters for Asia is central to the chemical group’s philosophy that sustainable solutions will be created through a sustained focus on innovation.
World Leather - Oct/Nov 2013
Dyeing levelness on full grain leathers
The levelness of dyeing of aniline and semi-aniline leathers directly affects their use and value within the manufacture of high value leather goods. However, colour variation caused by natural neck growth marks and draw in the belly parts is frequently found and often unavoidable.
World Leather - Aug/Sep 2013
Biological nitrogen elimination with simultaneous biological sulfide oxidation
Cleaning tannery wastewater has never been a trivial task, especially for those leather manufacturers who directly discharge into surface waters. Because of the dramatic savings in water consumption that have been achieved over recent decades by Bader, the wastewater is usually highly concentrated, especially with nitrogen compounds. However, a targeted denitrification process combined with simultaneous sulfide oxidation allows the company to eliminate the nitrogen compounds from the wastewater by at least 70% and at a reasonable cost.
World Leather - June/July 2012
Sustainability through the leather production chain
Sponsored by Clariant, this feature looks at the development of solutions that simplify the production of finished leather while limiting the burden on people, the environment and resources.
World Leather - Apr/May 2012
High-fastness fatliquors from sustainable resources
New fatliquors based on renewable raw materials have been developed that provide outstanding light and heat fastness performance together with excellent softening effects. This paper gives an overview of the chemistry of fatliquors, and compares the technical performance of these essential products on leather, with their environmental impact expressed as carbon footprint values.
World Leather - Apr/May 2012
A new green leather
As a result of close cooperation between N-Zyme BioTec and LGR, a tanning process has been developed and optimised on bovine hides using activated olive residues.
World Leather - Apr/May 2012
Innovation. Part 4: Making the most of resources
Twenty world-standard tanneries have opened their doors for in-depth study as part of the global Tannery of the Year Awards programme launched by the publishers of World Leather in 2009. In part four of this series we look at examples of innovation in practice, where tanners have addressed various issues by making the most of their resources.
World Leather - Apr/May 2012
Carbon footprint – a new challenge for the leather industry
A growing and ageing population, urbanisation, globalisation and climate protection – these will pose major challenges for all of us, and BASF and the wider chemical industry have solutions to manage these challenges.
World Leather - Feb/Mar 2012
EasyWhite Tan leather: A tanning evolution
This paper describes a new white tanning system from Clariant for leathers suitable for automotive, shoe upper and other classic leather types. The absence of common salt as normally used in the pickle stage has significant implications within clean technology and the wider environment.
World Leather - Feb/Mar 2011
Genuine lightweight leather: A new micro-sphere
The largest source of green house gas emissions globally is through the combustion of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas in power plants, automobiles, industry etc. the USA is the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide(CO2) and, in 2006, petroleum supplied the largest share of US domestic energy demands, accounting for an average of 47% of total fossil-fuel-based energy consumption(1). The USA and China produced by far the largest CO2 emissions in the world of 5,987.98 and 5,010.17 million tonnes in 2004 respectively(2). There are about 800 million petroleum consuming cars in the world(3) which is expected to continue to rise long term, beyond the current crisis. The USA and China are now the world’s biggest markets for such vehicles and there is seriously growing concern about sustainability.
World Leather - Feb/Mar 2009
Carbon dioxide deliming of full thickness hides
Minimising the chloride/ sulphate/ ammonium content from deliming
World Leather - 01 - Feb/Mar 2008
Collagen as a substrate for biomaterials: Part 2
Using biotechnology, it is possible to cut specific regions of the collagen molecule in order to solubilise collagen whilst, at the same time, retaining its helical nature. This new form of collagen can then be precipitated from solution, solubilised and moulded into any shape or form that may be required for medical purposes. This second part of the article follows on from Part 1, issued in World Leather August/September 2007.
World Leather - 08 - Dec/Jan 2007
Reducing the amount of salt required for hide and skin preservation
In Pakistan the most common method of curing is by salting. But all of this salt is subsequently removed and most of this enters tannery effluent where it can only be removed under extreme conditions. It is also the major source of salinity found in tannery effluents.
World Leather - 08 - Dec/Jan 2007
The regeneration of used salt from curing
One of the major problems that the leather industry needs to address is the issue of salinity. It is well known that most of the salt component in tannery effluents is generated from the salt used for preservation of hides and skins. There is always an excess of salt applied to ensure a complete cure, so, as a first step to reduce salinity, this surplus can be shaken from the hides and skins before beginning the soaking process. Various methods are used, but the question then arises, what happens to this contaminated salt?
World Leather - 08 - Dec/Jan 2007
The 110th Annual SLTC conference 2007
The 110th annual conference of the Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists was held in Chester UK on Saturday September 29, 2007, the event being attended by 77 people from the leather and associated industries. In total eight technical papers were presented including The Atkin Memorial lecture, “The beamhouse, foundation for leather making—experience during 50 years”, given by John Basford.
World Leather - 07 - Nov 2007
The determination of chromium (VI): Standardisation status
The co-existence of two different procedures for determining hexavalent chromium in leather across Europe has placed this hazardous substance once more in the midst of controversy.
World Leather - 06 - Oct 2007
The theory and practice of direct pickle/chrome liquor recycling
Minimising the chloride/sulfate and chromium ion content from pickle tanning Although the information set down in this paper is fundamental to the highly successful technology and this is probably the most informative study that has been written on this subject, it should be remembered that the original report was produced before the technology became widely established and some minor details will have changed by now.
World Leather - 06 - Oct 2007
The application of modern biotechnology methods and the manufacture of quality leathers
The increased use of biotechnology methods by leading chemical supply companies is impacting the way that leather is produced today. Changes have resulted in improvements to the repeatability of processing, reductions in cost, and a decrease in the environmental footprint along with improvements in leather quality.
World Leather - 05 - Aug/Sept 2007
Formaldehyde analysis: Test methods and results
There have been recent changes in the understanding of the toxicity of formaldehyde, and a proposed change in the testing method. With the realisation that the greatest risk to human health comes from airborne formaldehyde, test methods are now tending to change to reflect this.
World Leather - 03 - May 2007
A compendium of salinity-related information
One of the major global issues affecting the viability of many tanneries is salinity and for this reason there has been a strong focus on the subject in recent publications. Accordingly, this article sets down issues that are related to salinity and a list of publications that have been presented. These total almost 50 technical papers.
World Leather - 03 - May 2007
Technology: Salinity-related issues in India
Developments towards zero liquid discharge and the reduction of salinity.
World Leather - 03 - May 2007
Submerged membrane bioreactor technology for treating mixed tannery effluent
This research programme is a European collaboration project. W2O Environment from the UK, French Leather Technology Centre CTC and the German University ISA-RWTH Aachen are testing a submerged membrane bioreactor in Tanneries d’Annonay, France.
World Leather - 03 - May 2007
The problem of marine discharge
The marine environment is sensitive, but because problems of dealing with salinity, massive clusters of tanneries are now located near the coast in order to discharge these effluents into the sea.
World Leather - 02 - April 2007
Reed beds: Secondary and tertiary performance for tannery and other industrial effluents
The high productivity and nutrient removal capability of natural wetlands has created substantial interest in their potential use for improving wastewater quality.
World Leather - 01 - Feb/Mar 2007
A salt-free process water recycling strategy for tanneries
Hybrid effluent treatment using reedbeds and membrane filtration.
World Leather - Oct 2006
Buyer's view: Patagonia
Environmentally-friendly leather takes a step into the outdoors with the emphasis on ISO 14001.
World Leather - Aug/Sep 2006
Technologies to improve the useful area of leather
The manufacturing of leather is facing diverse challenges including pressure from the eco-toxicity point of view, in the form of stringent new regulations. The measures necessary to deal with these issues add to the cost pressure that tanners are experiencing.
World Leather - Aug/Sep 2006
Observations: the suppression of swelling
The suppression of swelling in acid-pickle using alternative salts to common salt.
World Leather - June/July 2006
The potential of silicates in leather production: Part 4 of 4
Research into leather-related silicon chemistry.
World Leather - June/July 2006
A salt-free pickling regime for hides and skins
This paper describes a series of pilot studies to investigate salt-free pickling systems based on phenol sulfonic acid preparations on hides, sheepskins pelts, and woolsheep leading to the successful commercialisation of the findings.
World Leather - June/July 2006
The potential of silicates in leather production: Part 3 of 4
Silicates in tannery wastewaters are not detrimental to plant health. In contrast, common salt at levels normally found in tannery effluents is highly detrimental.
World Leather - May 2006
VOCs in the tanning sector
The solvents used during finishing operations represent the main source of Volatile Organic Carbons (VOC) for tanneries.
World Leather - May 2006
A green frame of mind in the workshop?
Now even the cynical amongst us are beginning to suspect that there is more to the 'green' movement than just faddiness.
World Leather - May 2006
Water management
Driven by legislation: The concept of zero discharge for water.
World Leather - April 2006
Enhancing commom effluent treatment with a reed bed system
Since the introduction of reed beds in India in 1997, a number of reed beds using SP. Trema have been set up and investigated for both secondary and tertiary treatment.
World Leather - April 2006
The potential of silicates in leather production. Part 2
Benefits with new chemical procedures, and the development of a new commodity.
World Leather - April 2006
The Machine Minder: Recycling containers
Leather production requires a broad range of liquid chemicals — tanning and bating compounds, fatliquors, a whole host of specialised finishing compounds, both solvent and waterbased. Management’s main concern is to make sure that stocks are ordered and delivered on time, but out in the backyard of the factory we are confronted with an aspect that is generally ignored — the “empties”.
World Leather - Feb/Mar 2006
Waste creates new growth
Many by-products from leather manufacture, that have traditionally been treated as waste, are now being viewed as 'new raw materials' through the development of new techniques.
World Leather - Feb/Mar 2006
The potential of silicates in leather production. Part 1
Salt-free curing of hides and skins and reducing the salt content of tannery effluents.
World Leather - Feb/Mar 2006
Recycling - a new source of innovation
After decades of defending its environmental position, the leather industry has seen dialogue change. Corporate social responsibility requires tanners to start thinking about what happens to all the products and articles as they end their useful life. Instead of just safe disposal the argument has now shifted to how to recycle them.
World Leather - Feb/Mar 2006
Optimum chrome tanning of hides and modified Thrublu process for lime-split hides
Chrome tanning for a long time enjoyed a unique position amongst tanners and almost 90% of leather produced is chrome tanned. A number of studies have been published suggesting that Chromium(III) itself may be toxic at higher levels and Chromium(VI) is a known carcinogen. So, tanners have to consider how best to modify their tanning process for better exhaustion of chrome and look for alternative means to minimise the impact of tanning on the environment.
World Leather - Nov 2005
The effects of salinity on the treatment of tannery effluents and sludges
Within the biological treatment of tannery effluent, the general approach uses aerobic bacteria maintained in suspension to digest nutrients within the effluent. Soluble effluent components that have a high oxygen demand are converted into a fine suspension of bacterial clusters and are removed as solids. However, systems that rely on anaerobic bacterial action can also be usefully employed to remove components that otherwise would produce a high oxygen demand in the effluent.
World Leather - Nov 2005
Anaerobic digestion of tannery sludge: Lowering salinity to reduce sludge volume
An investigation was performed to minimise the volume of tannery sludges by bio-degradation. To overcome the inhibiting effects caused by inorganic solubles used in leather manufacture, a novel technique was employed to reduce the salts content of these sludges. This article looks at the success of this investigation.
World Leather - Nov 2005
The real cost of a kilo of salt
The following paper provides an overview of a different approach to tanning. The technique is managed in the ‘non-swelling’ pH zone, and thus eliminates the need for salt within the conventional acid pickle. The fibre stabilisation provided – somewhat similar to a pretannage with glutaraldehyde – allows strong leather characteristics, such as those provided by conventional chrome tannage, to be developed within a main tanning or retanning stage.
World Leather - Nov 2005
The replacement of nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) as degreasing agents in wet blue manufacture
The debate continues over whether NP and NPE represent a serious insult to the environment, but there is no longer any doubt about the direction of regulatory control. Increasingly, tanners sourcing wet blue are requiring that it be certified as NPE-free, but a wide range of alternatives now addresses their concerns about substituting NP/NPE technology with more environmentally desirable alternatives. World Leather takes a look.
World Leather - Oct 2005
Hides and skins: Temperature and physical change
This article takes a look at the profound influence temperature has on the physical properties of hides and skins within every stage of leather manufacture.
World Leather - Aug/Sep 2005
Business technology: A prize-winning tannery
While tanners in other European nations have often been heard to complain about the onerous burdens placed on them to meet EU and national environmental legislation, Hulshof, one of Holland’s tanners, seems to revel in meeting the challenge. In fact, the company appears to be setting the standards for others to follow.
World Leather - Aug/Sep 2005
Formaldehyde-free leather – a realistic objective?
There is an increasing demand for “formaldehyde-free” leather. No legal regulation presently exists for this chemical in the EU, but in many areas of application the amount of formaldehyde contained in leather is limited by technical specifications or eco-labels.
World Leather - June/July 2005
A practical alternative to salt for the preservation of hides and skins
Salt as a preservative for hides and skins is simple in application, low in cost and effective. Accordingly it is the most common form of preservation, but in practical term salt cannot be removed within effluent treatment. It enters the environment where the true costs are experienced in reality.
World Leather - May 2005
The real cost of a kilo of salt: Part 1
The first part of two looks at salinity in the tanning process: responsibility and actions, and the elimination of salt from acid pickles.
World Leather - May 2005
The use of non-swelling acids in pickle to minimise the chloride content in wastewaters
In our industrialised society, responsibility for environmental protection is becoming more and more important. Not surprisingly environmental awareness has grown in leather production as it has elsewhere. Tough official regulations
World Leather - Feb/Mar 2005
Salinity within tannery effluents
The total global input of bovine hides, sheep, goat and pigskins is nearly eight million tonnes as wet salted weight a year. On this basis, it could be estimated that tanning operations world-wide use some four million tonnes of
World Leather - Feb/Mar 2005
Addressing salinity in tannery effluents and uses for land irrigation in Australia and India
Tannery effluents vary greatly but they all contain sodium, chloride and sulfate ions. In addition they often contain calcium, magnesium, manganese, aluminium, bicarbonate, ammonia and low levels of chromium. Many
World Leather - Feb/Mar 2005
The recycling of limed fleshings
The handling and any recovery of products contained in limed fleshings in the tannery has long been a serious expense. Moving this material for eventual dumping incurs labour costs, even when the specialised equipment is employed.
World Leather - Dec/Jan 2004
The determination of Cr(VI) by test method IUC18/CEN/TS14495
The publication of the test method CEN/TS 14495(1)(identical to IUC 18) last year—which focused on the determination of Cr(VI) in leather—became the subject of discussion in Germany and across the whole of Europe.
World Leather - Dec/Jan 2004
Low temperature conversion of Cr - containing tannery wastes and sludges
An extensive study was initiated at LGR in 1998 to investigate the thermal conversion of chrome leather wastes and sludges aiming at an avoidance of any Cr(VI) formation.
World Leather - Nov 2004
Lagooning: a solution for tannery effluent
The simplest method of purifying a wastewater is to discharge it into a pond and to let nature do its work. Sunlight, heat, oxygen from air,bacteria, algae and, above all, time are needed. Generally known as the lagoon process, the technique was adopted in the US, Canada and Europe many years ago but is most commonly used where the climate is hot.
World Leather - Nov 2004
Back to Basics: Environmental - Part 10 of 10
Solid wastes and sludges: The most effective ways to minimise the problem presented by solid waste and sludges are reduce waste at source, view by-products as potential raw materials and manage sludges effectively.
World Leather - Nov 2004
Primary settling
There are many examples of primary settling systems that are ineffective. And limitations are not restricted to small tanneries, as severe problems can be found in some of the largest and most expensive treatment plants.
World Leather - Nov 2004
Dry pre-tanned intermediaries: a step towards sustainable leather manufacturing
New legislation in Europe states that by the middle of 2005 chrome shavings and other organic wastes can no longer be dumped in landfill sites. Already faced with numerous chemical restrictions, the avoidance of many substances and the need for advancing testing requirements have become an important facet in the production of quality leathers.
World Leather - Oct 2004
Back to Basics: Environmental - Part 9 of 10
Sludge handling: Gross solids as sludges from primary settling are pumped from the base of the settling tank. Having a solids content of about 4%, these require dewatering before disposal. In hot climates this dewatering is commonly performed in sludge drying beds using a mix of drainage and evaporation.
World Leather - Oct 2004
Back to Basics: Environmental - Part 8 of 10; Other options for treatment
There are many variations that can be applied to effluent treatment. For example, the primary settling stage (b) is often omitted, but in this event there is more attention to pre-sceening (c). If iron
World Leather - Aug/Sep 2004
Wasserglass in leather production
The main objective of this project—funded by the CRAFT programme of the EC(2)—was to develop findings from a previous investigation on the application of Wasserglass. In the study, procedures for pelt treatment with Wasserglass(3)
World Leather - Aug/Sep 2004
Back to Basics: Environmental - Part 7 of 10
Secondary effluent treatment: After separation of the solids from the effluent by primary clarification, the supernatant is delivered for aerobic biological treatment. Known as the activated sludge process, the effluent requires continuous aeration to ensure a constant supply of oxygen for the bacteria, and to keep the bacterial flocs that develop in suspension.
World Leather - June/July 2004
Back to Basics: Environmental - Part 6 of 10
Primary effluent treatment: It is recognised that the first stage in the treatment of wastes from any process operation is to use the most appropriate materials and optimise performance. However, even after applying the best available technology to leather making, waste remains.
World Leather - May 2004
Reducing salinity in the pickle-tanning process. Part 2
Salinity is a cause for concern in tannery waste waters as it is unaffected by effluent treatment and more that 25% of salinity can be generated from the pickle-chrome tanning process.
World Leather - May 2004
Back to Basics: Environmental - Part 5 of 10
Nitrogen is contained in several different components in tannery effluent and sometimes there is a need to differentiate between these sources.
World Leather - April 2004
Reducing salinity in the pickle-tanning process. Part 1 of 2
The following paper describes a series of structured investigations with the objective of eliminating common salt from the pickle-chrome tanning process.
World Leather - April 2004
Back to Basics: Environmental - Part 4 of 10
Components within waste-waters, their characteristics and environmental effects.
World Leather - Feb/Mar 2004
Back to Basics: Environmental - Part 3 of 10
Components within waste waters, their characteristics and environmental effects.
World Leather - Dec/Jan 2003
False hexavalent chromium determinations
Considerable discussion and research has taken place into the potential weaknesses and accuracy of the diphenylcarbazide determination of hexavalent chromium in leather. Despite these reservations, the general attitude has been to accept that hexavalent chromium - as determined by diphenylcarbazide methods - is real and hazardous.
World Leather - Dec/Jan 2003
The V-Fold belt filter press
The V-Fold filter was developed in Australia to dewater slurries and sludges generated during wastewater treatment so they can beremoved at lower cost, and in some cases used in compost. Its simple design and forgiving nature means little operator input is needed, even when the slurry composition varies.
World Leather - Nov 2003
Back to Basics: Environmental - Part 2 of 10
Materials consumed and waste generated The diagram shows the quantity of finished shoe upper leather and splits produced, and the waste generated from processing one tonne of wet
World Leather - Nov 2003
Aqueous degreasing and the custom designed surfactant
The degreasing of hides and skins can be considered state of the art. Excluding the use of solvents, the most effective water-based products are nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs).
World Leather - Nov 2003
Back to Basics: Environmental - Part 1 of 10
Environmental matters cannot be taken in isolation from leather making, as every facet of pollution or residual material is a direct function of manufacture.
World Leather - Oct 2003
Environmentally sound - the manufacture of dog-chews
Dog-chew products are an excellent way of adding value to lime splits. This is especially so when the flesh splits represent a high proportion of the splitting yield.
World Leather - Aug/Sep 2003

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