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Recycling in the industrial process of leather industry by-products

During this project, the treatment and re-utilization of
tanning industry by-products will be studied so that large
quantities of solid waste can be exploited. The aim is to
reduce disposal costs and produce re-usable products.

Leather manufacturing industries generate a large quantity of solid wastes, on an average about 50% of the initial raw material. In the E.U. tannery solid wastes amount to about 1,200,000 tons/year. Tanned scraps are toxic and potentially dangerous to human health and the environment due to their usually high chrome contents. The composition of by-products shows a high fat and protein content; most of which can be reclaimed using suitable technologies. Firms have to sustain high costs for waste disposal and encounter several problems with local and national environmental laws, because they produce a very large quantity of very polluting wastes. Moreover, waste treatments are very expensive, owing to the presence of toxic compounds, and the high energy consumption involved (for transport, handling, physical treatments, etc.). Sludges are considered under the EU's 75/442 Directive as "special wastes", therefore a special class of landfills (2B type), which it is now very difficult to find in the territory, is necessary. The aim of this project is to select solid wastes and research and set up reclaiming technologies in order to lower the costs of waste disposal and reduce the environmental impact. At the same time, technical actions on the productive cycle will be studied both to minimize waste production and change their quality, according to the standards best fitted to reclaim them. At last it will be possible to make use of them in the same tanning cycle (sulphonated and sulphited fats, enzymes) or other productive cycles (fertilisers, animal feed, fuels, cosmetics, etc.). In accordance with the scope and objective of European Programmes, this project will make it possible to develop technologies meeting a very important environmental need in the tanning industry. Moreover, the SMEs participating in this project will be stimulated to take advantage of the opportunities offered by technological innovation and become more sensitive to environmental technologies. Keywords: tanning industry, by-products, exploitation.
Acronym: 
LEATHER BYPRODUCTS
Project ID: 
2 221
Project Duration: 
36months
Project costs: 
1 800 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.