Improving biodegradability of vegetable tanned leather

Anne Lama, Natasha Miller, Karl Flowers

Research output: Contribution to Specialist PublicationBulletin/Magazine


Tanning stabilises protein, thus making leathers more difficult to biodegrade than raw hides and skins. A significant percentage of the worldwide leather production is vegetable-tanned(1), and although the biodegradability is considered low, composting offers a solution to waste disposal problems associated with these leather products. In this event this offers a strong alternative to land-fill disposal or incineration of waste. The detanning of leather is well known technology. The recovery of chromium from wet blue leather waste is established in practice(2), and the stripping of vegetable tannins from leather takes place(1,3) before dyeing to help even out the shade(1). However, a stripping concept has never been applied to treat vegetable-tanned leather waste where the biodegradability might be improved
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Specialist publicationWorld Leather
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2016


  • biogradability
  • vegetable tanned leather
  • leather


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