Is Zeology tanned leather more biodegradable than chrome tanned leather?

Is Zeology tanned leather more biodegradable than chrome or glutardialdehyde (GDA) tanned leather?

Before hides/skins are tanned, they are naturally biodegradable. The tanning process changes the chemistry inside the leather fibers to make it more difficult for the enzymes from bacteria and fungi to break them down. Any leather can be composted but the speed of degradation and environmental impact depend on the tanning chemistry used. The tanning technologies developed in the past mainly focused on the durability (and longevity) of the leather; however, current society asks for an additional sustainability property – leather that biodegrades into components that can enter natural cycles once again.

Zeology tanned leather does biodegrade quicker than the traditional tanning technologies (Wet White & Wet Blue) as shown in the graph.

The Zeology tanned material appears to be broken down by simple primary enzymes that allow easy bioassimilation of the amino acids into the bacterial cells, especially compared to conventional leather types.

Bioassimilation based on a) Plant Response Test for Zeo White based compost, and b) the aquoues biodegradation by
micro-organims4 for different materials: untanned collagen, zeolite tanned, Wet White (GDA) and Wet Blue (Chrome).



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