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Codyeco has successfully achieved the synthesis of the new biopolymers at pilot scale using the biomasses supplied by Ilsa. Following a thorough study on literature and the academic support of the University Ca 'Foscari of Venice, Codyeco was able to chemically modify the bio-based raw materials, making them suitable for leather making. Six biopolymers from agro-industrial by-products (legumes, cereals, cane and sugar beet) and leather industry ones (wet-blue shaving) were synthesized and characterized. Furthermore, the new biopolymers have been tested on various types of leather (bovine, goat/sheep, split suede) by Codyeco and the Spanish tanneries Dercosa and Inpelsa, obtaining excellent results regarding the value of the produced leathers and the performances achieved with the new technology. Other important results were achieved on the environmental impact of the new products;  the biopolymers have shown excellent reactivity on leather and a reduction of the polluting load in re-tanning and fat-liquoring baths, compared to the traditional procedures, was found. LIFE BIOPOL products have been developed looking towards the environmental sustainability and workers safety: the total absence of hazardous pollutants, such as formaldehyde and heavy metals, was as a fundamental of LIFE BIOPOL project. The next period will see the commitment of Codyeco in scaling up the processes implemented at the pilot scale.


Ilsa identifies the plant and animal biomasses which will be base of the green biopolymers. In the first phase of the LIFE BIOPOL project, ILSA has identified plant biomasses (legumes, cereals, cane, and sugar beet) and animals (wet-blue shaving) that are suitable for the synthesis of biopolymers. After the preliminary phase of study and research, ILSA successfully achieved the pretreatment activities on agro-industrial and tanning by products, transforming them from waste to resource. The by-products were treated by ILSA though the eco-sustainable process of enzymatic hydrolysis that allowed these substances to be used in biopolymers syntheses. The activities carried out by ILSA took into account plenty of factors regarding the sustainability including economic costs, availability of by-products on the market and the environmental impact of the identified processes. The next period is going to see ILSA commitment to industrializing these pretreatments


Ca' Foscari University of Venice (Unive) is responsible for providing data and assessments of the chemical and physical properties of biopolymers produced by Codyeco within the Life Biopol project. In particular, Unive is conducting studies on organic matrices and biopolymers, through various analytical and instrumental techniques such as:

• Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR)

• Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR),

• Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC)

• Electrophoresis chromatography (SDS-PAGE).

The synergy between these techniques, in conjunction with the continuous exchange of informations between Codyeco and Unive, has led to important responses for final biopolymers formulation.



Raw biomasses are such complex materials: all biomasses are treated by Ilsa through a green and eco-friendly process: the enzymatic hydrolysis.

Enzymatic hydrolysis involves many innovative advantages, involving enzymes able to carry a much more selective and less polluted process in comparison with traditional ones.

According to bibliography, several studies have been carried out to investigate the effects of various processing conditions and the comparative of different enzymes.

Therefore several enzymatic hydrolyses are performed choosing enzymes basing on their specific activity, application and industrial market availability for soybean cakes, corn stalks and wet blu hide.





Since October 2016, Codyeco has started the biopolymers syntheses using biomasses supplied by Ilsa.

In this first period, Codyeco has successfully achieved biopolymers syntheses starting from animal biomass.


The synthesized biopolymers have been characterized by University Ca’ Foscari of Venice combining the information achieved by different analytical methods in order to collect important data such reactions development and chemicals composition.



Life Biopol project is entirely focused on the re–use of agro-industrial and leather by–products. Ilsa has selected the following raw materials for biopolymer syntheses:

• Plant derived matrices: leguminous crop, cereals, sugar cane and sugar beet;

• Animal derived matrices: hides and skins from tannery (wet blue).


Vegetable biomasses are suitable sources of compounds of the carbohydrates family, while animal derived biomasses are known to have a high content in essential amino acids.

For the first analytical screening and characterization, the selected raw materials were five:


• Four raw materials from soybean;

• One raw material from corn.


The biomass characterizations will be  performed using the official analytical fertilizers methods according to the Italian regulation (D.Lgs. 75/2010) or others specific methods.


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