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.