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The most common method of preserving raw hidesis brine curing with sodium chloride. However, thisprocess has three important disadvantages: first, thelength of time that it takes, which is a minimum of18 hours; second, the insufficient degree of curingreached in some hides due to an overload andpossibly the low efficiency of the brine raceway; andfinally, the environmental impact associated withthe discharge of large quantities of electrolytes in thesoaking step. Our long term goal is to address allthree issues. Initially, we have carried out a studyof the salt uptake and its diffusion mechanism inorder to attempt a reduction in the curing time. Acontinuous reaction mathematical model of a closedone dimensional system that describes the diffusionof sodium chloride in the hide during the curingprocess was chosen in the search for the optimumbrine curing conditions such as the optimum brineconcentration and percent float. The effect of thesetwo parameters on the values of transport coefficient
was reported. Brine diffusion into the hide wastracked by measurement of the chloride concentrationof the residual brine solution. In addition, a piece ofhide was cured with a fluorescently labeled brinesolution and analyzed by means of epifluorescentmicroscopy for direct visualization of the sodiumlocation within the hide.