Project: LOW carbon products to design leather processes based on Sustainable Tannins to improve leather manufacture_x000D_

_x000D_The aim of the project is the design of new tanning recipes and new tailored and functional vegetable tannins to promote the sustainability and manufacture of high quality leather articles. The project is foccused to consider the fruit of the Tara tree (Caesalpinia Spinosa) as a sustainable source for tanning agents and proposes alternatives to the commercial mineral salts and vegetable extracts to comply with an increasing demand that concerns low carbon footprint raw materials and health safety. Tara is a sustainable resource of tannins compared with conventional commercialised vegetable extracts from wood that require deforestation._x000D_The physic and chemical modifications of commercial Tara tannin will be carried out on the basis of the research and development activities and the corresponding experimental designs. Once the new tailored tannins will be optimized, it will be possible to develop new tanning formulations including those sustainable tannins. Although Tara tannins have been used in the leather industry and its properties being well known, the proposed activities will optimize innovative wet-white formulations using new tailored products. The improvement of chrome retanning formulations and the substitution of vegetable extracts offer by Tara in vegetable tannages will enlarge the market demand of these new tailored products and formulations. New grinded fractions, combined formulations of Tara with inorganic or organic pre-tanning materials will improve the penetration and bonding with the collagen matrix._x000D__x000D_The tannins from Tara are appreciated because its light color and lightfastness. The demand of Tara tannins increased during last decades at the time leather production for automobile upholstery has experienced a highest demand. However, there are no specific promotions for the use of Tara tannins. Tannery technicians obtain very little information from technical sheets that only specifies few recommendations and provides minimum quality values. The tannins concentration in the commercial Tara is being indicated as a minimum around 45-48%. In this way, the project will promote the market introduction of chrome free leather._x000D__x000D_he existing literature shows various attempts to use Tara combined with other inorganic salts (aluminium, chromium) or with organic products (glutaraldehyde, syntans, quaternary phosphonium salts) to improve its tanning powder by means of penetration and blocking the reactive groups of collagen to facilitate the penetration and avoid an excess of tanning on the leather surface.(1),(2),(3),(4) Ultrasound application in vegetable tanning process could improve the diffusion rate and an appreciable reduction in the particle size(5). The application of bacterial enzymes are also studied. The use of bacterial collagenase as an auxiliary agent in tanning bath has increased tanning absorption and better diffusion into leather(6). Other technologies describe methods for preparing improved vegetable extracts, obtaining sulphonated Tara extract with advantages as a renewable raw material, stable output and low cost (7)._x000D__x000D_The Pship comprises one technology and research provider and 4 specialized SMEs which includes all value chain actors in the field of project application from Spain and Romania. The consortium is leaded by a Spanish R&D performing SME tannery (Curtits Aqualata, S.A), which manufactures high quality articles addressed to the market of leathergoods and footwear. The company will be the promoter of new wet-white tanning formulations, and they will generate a retanning model formulation including sustainable tannins. Other SME Spanish tannery specialised in vegetable tanning (Combalia S.A) will be in the project consortium. This company manufactures many types of commercial vegetable articles (leathergoods, footwear, saddlery and technical leathers). They will design vegetable formulations introducing Tara tannin as a raw material substituting the commercial vegetable extracts. A Chemical products company (Leather Química S.L.U) will facilitate and collaborate intensely in the research of new tailored Tara tannin. The R&D subcontracted entities (AIICA Technological Centre and Engibio from UPC) will be collaborating in research and development of new tailored products and evaluating prototype leathers._x000D__x000D_SC Pielorex S.A, a R&D performing SME tannery from Romania, will be collaborating in the project. They manufacture high quality finished leathers and splits for footwear, leather goods, upholstery, etc., and also wet blue and crust leathers both for internal and external market. They will collaborate designing wet-white and retanning formulations. The Leather and Footwear Research Institute (ICPI), possesses unique expertise and R&D facilities in the field of leather processing and shoe manufacturing. They will be involved in the research and development tasks of the project in terms of new tailored products and design of new wet-white recipes._x000D_

Acronym LOWEST (Reference Number: 6565)
Duration 03/10/2011 - 31/03/2014
Project Topic TThe aim of SULTAN is the design of new formulations for high quality leather manufacture using sustainable vegetable tannins . Non-chrome tanning process will be designed to generate eco-friendly leather articles, improving the competitiveness of SMEs in the International leather market.
Project Results
(after finalisation)
The support of SC Pielorex SA in achieving the target of the project: development of innovative technology and product based on modified Tara vegetable tannin;_x000D_The contribution to the Tara tannin modification by separation and concentration with filtration membrane, the validation of analytical results for Tara tannin and leathers processed with modified tannin, the assessment of ecological impact and feasibility study and dissemination activities (papers, communications, patent).
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 6

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
5 COMBALIA, S.A. Partner Spain
5 SC PIELOREX S.A Partner Romania
5 LEATHER QUIMICA, S.L Partner Spain
5 CURTITS AQUALATA, S.A. Coordinator Spain
5 INCDTP-ICPI (Leather and Footwear Research Institute )Division Partner Romania