Modified zeolites as sustainable alternatives to traditional tanning chemistries

Leather is the largest application of collagen where typical tanning chemistries include metal salts, polyphenolics and aldehydes. A new type of material that is gaining industrial significance is based on a composite of collagen and zeolite in the area of sustainable leather manufacture. This approach utilises simple, abundant, and benign chemistry, which provides leather with the physical properties needed for a range of possible applications.

In this research article, published in the journal Green Chemistry, scientists from University of Northampton, Royal Smit & Zoon and NZ Leather Research, give a deeper insight on modified zeolites (Zeology) as a versatile and sustainable means to move away from established tanning methods.

“A new material gaining industrial significance for sustainable leather is based on a composite of collagen and zeolite. The zeolite forms a 3D network structure covering collagen fibres, improving protein stability and creating material strength.” – Green Chemistry

The article is written by:

  • William Wise, University of Northampton, Institute for Creative Leather Technologies
  • Stefan Davis, University of Northampton Institute for Creative Leather Technologies
  • Wouter Hendriksen, Royal Smit and Zoon
  • Dirick Von Behr, Royal Smit & Zoon
  • Sujay Prabakar, NZ Leather Research
  • Yi Zhang, NZ Leather Research

More information about tanning with Zeology

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