Cyclic Carbonate: A Recyclable Medium for Zero Discharge Tanning
journal contributionposted on 05.02.2016, 00:00 by Murali Sathish, Kalarical Janardhanan Sreeram, Jonnalagadda Raghava Rao, Balachandran Unni Nair
Cyclic carbonates are currently attracting the worldwide interest of researchers for developing sustainable approaches for a greener environment. Propylene carbonate, one of the cyclic carbonates, was taken as the medium for the chrome tanning process. The said process does not require water input and also consumes a lesser amount of chromium and other tanning auxiliaries than the conventional tanning process. Enhancement of chromium uptake up to nearly 100% w/w was demonstrated through this process. Furthermore, the used cyclic carbonate can be recycled for the next batch of tanning process without any pretreatment, and the developed process enjoys zero discharge of water and chromium. Additionally the propylene carbonate possesses good antimicrobial and antifungal activity, which avoids the usage of any external preservative in the tanning process. Performance of the leathers is shown to be on par with conventionally processed leathers through physical/hand evaluation and morphological analysis. Also, the process is proven to be more economically beneficial than the conventional tanning process.