Leather chemicals based on renewable ingredients

Renewable chemicals, or raw materials of renewable and bio-based origin, have been used in leather chemicals in specific areas already for a long time, especially in Fatliquors.

Over time, however, many leather chemicals have been developed from petro-chemical origin replacing bio-based products due to a completely different awareness and environment in past times, and because they delivered at that time sometimes a better performance. Times are changing now.

Renewability & circularity goals

Smit & Zoon promotes the use of leather chemicals based on renewable ingredients and innovate new chemicals with more renewability. The final aim is to have leather chemicals which are completely based on renewable origins. Additionally, Smit & Zoon aims that those innovative new renewable or bio-based (wholly or partially) leather chemicals provide excellent leather performance, have good biodegradability, can be easily handled by tanneries during the leather making process and can be processed well in the effluent treatment with a minimal environmental footprint.

Ultimately, Smit & Zoon also aims that the leather chemicals we provide for leather making enable full circularity. Smit & Zoon is innovating and each drop makes a difference and we are in for the long run. Not every aspect will be achievable immediately. Our LIFE Biopol project and the products we have now are an excellent step forward with more to come.

What are renewable materials?

According to EN ISO 14021:2016, renewable materials are materials composed of biomass and can be rapidly replenished. This definition is largely overlapping with the definition of bio-based materials. Similarly, the renewability concept also can be seen as an alternative way of expressing the bio-based content of a material.

Our Wet-End products for high renewability

In the existing portfolio Smit & Zoon offers in it’s Smit Wet-End ranges the following products which we recommend for high renewability of bio-based origin. Per category the key products are:


Level of renewability

Retanning agents note: most products in the market available are fully petrochemical based and with no renewability
Safetan BB 003 70%
Safetan DD 001 51%
Safetan MW 005 40%
Syntan DF 585 49%
Bio-acrylics note; most products in the market available are fully petrochemical based and with no renewability
BioSyn CM 73L 42%
BioSyn SC 75L 44%
BioSyn SP 75L 44%
BioSyn AP 72L 45%
BioSoft OS 761 88%
Polyol CT 688 70%
Polyol HS 818 80%
Sulphirol AF 300 61%
Sulphirol HF 377 85%
Synthol CS 588 72%
Synthol GT 616 81%
Synthol LA 915 67%

ZDHC level 3 certified

All of these products are ZDHC level 3 certified. The renewability is calculated based on our production recipes (raw material composition) and information provided for the ingredients by our suppliers. As with the raw materials, the calculation is based on active matter only. The above information is also included in our Product Passport.

Smit & Zoon is developing better renewable products as, for example, in our LIFE Biopol project. In the retanning agents, until then, we recommend the Optitan range which are optimized petrochemical based retanning agents to minimize the footprint and provide excellent leather performance.

Smit & Zoon will continue to add new products to this list that make the difference to better chemistry and leather making.

More information

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