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ATC announces switch to biosolvents

In a global project spanning three years, leather chemicals manufacturer ATC said it has greatly reduced dependence on petrochemicals for their range of products.

Although petrochemicals are not banned under any legislative authority, the move is part of ongoing efforts to remove chemicals that have a negative impact on the environment. By switching to the new raw materials based on sustainable products such as sunflower oil, rapeseed oil and potato derivatives, the products are now said to have fewer impurities than petrochemical-derived products.

Previously, some of the products used contained small amounts of naphthalene, a chemical known to be hazardous to health. The company said the new biosolvents are free from naphthalene and have the benefit of reduced VOC content and, as a consequence, reduced odour.

ATC confirmed that they have replaced 80% of their solvent use with the new biosolvents. Speaking to World Leather, ATC managing director Jean-Baptiste Gualino said, “As a global team we are all convinced that as chemists, we must have some impact on our customers and our industry and this forms part of our global projects”.

Mr Gualino said that the main challenge in bringing the project to fruition was ensuring the correct raw materials were used, as well as the extensive testing and trial productions. The new biosolvents are slightly more expensive than petrochemical-derived products as their production is more costly, he said, but are in line with customer expectations.

Image: ATC.




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