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GreenLIFE Layman's Report EN

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greenLIFE has published its Layman’s Report. The Layman’s Report explains the greenLIFE objectives and all the results achieved by action along the three years of the project. This report is available in English and in Italian.


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GreenLIFE Layman's Report EN

  1. 1. - www.greenlifeproject.eu 1 LIFE 13 ENV/IT/000840 - greenLIFE www.greenlifeproject.eu O U R C O M M U N I T Y , O U R W O R L D , O U R R E S P O N S I B I L I T Y FromtheVicenzaTanningDistrict, innovationtoimprovethe sustainabilityofthe globalleatherindustry “ 2014 - 2017 LAYMAN’S REPORT
  2. 2. - www.greenlifeproject.eu S O M M A R I O 1. INTRODUZIONE 1.1 LA PELLE PAG. 1.2 L’INDUSTRIA CONCIARIA IN ITALIA PAG. INTRODUCTION PAG. 3 1 LEATHER PAG. 4 1.1 THE TANNING INDUSTRY IN ITALY PAG. 5 1.2 THE PRODUCTION PROCESS PAG. 6 1.3 ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS OF TANNERY PROCESSES PAG. 7 2 THE GREENLIFE PROJECT PAG. 8 3 PROJECT RESULTS PAG. 9 3.1 LESS WATER AND CHEMICALS WITH GREENLIFE LIMING PROCESSES PAG. 9 3.2 RECYCLING BY-PRODUCTS FROM TANNERY PROCESSES - ILSA PAG. 15 3.3 A NEW TANNING AGENT FROM RENEWABLE SOURCES - IKEM PAG. 17 3.4 SOCIO-ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT - UNIVERSITY OF PADUA PAG. 18 CONCLUSIONS CONTENTS
  3. 3. - www.greenlifeproject.eu 3 INTRODUCTION Promote the uniqueness of Italian leather, outline the features of a structured, complex production process, and describe the main results achieved with the greenLIFE project. These are the objectives we set ourselves when considering readers for whom this report is intended. Readers who know nothing about the tanning industry can find a brief description of the Italian tanning industry and its global importance in these pages and understand the socio-economic framework into which the greenLIFE project fits. A description of the tanning cycle is outlined so the intricate bond that unites the various technologies that contri- bute to the production of finished leather goods can be understood. Finally, the most important section includes the results achieved through the various lines of research developed as part of the greenLIFE project. This research focused on reducing the consumption of natural resources, capitalising on the potential of process by-products, introducing credible and methodologically robust tools for measuring envi- ronmental impact, and making increasing use of renewable resources. We have tried to provide this information while avoiding technical jargon in the interests of clarity and comprehen- sion, even at the risk of including slight inaccuracies. Now it’s over to you. Enjoy the read and feel free to pose any questions you see fit. We’ll be there. GUIDO ZILLI Project coordinator Arzignano
  4. 4. - www.greenlifeproject.eu 4 A by-product of the food industry which, almost magically, is turned into a unique product whose versatility makes it possible for the most exclusive ideas from stylists and designers to take shape, or for adorning the interior of the most luxurious cars. THIS IS LEATHER A compendium of manual skill and industrial technology that turns raw hides from slaughterhouses into finished leather that can become shoes, bags, jackets, sofas and car interiors. Leather shoes provide people with strong healthy footwear, as leather is breathable and prevents dampness from building up when worn. Likewise, the comfort in cars with leather interiors is unparalleled, not forgetting how convenient it is to clean, its long-lasting strength and utter elegance. Leather clothing is also breathable and lets water vapour from our bodies be transmitted through the garment, and has insulation properties that make it especially useful in winter. 1 LEATHER
  5. 5. - www.greenlifeproject.eu 5 The tanning industry has deep roots in Italy, with 1200 companies employing 18,000 people, mainly in small and medium-sized companies concentrated within production districts in the regions outlined below: This district model is typical of Italian industry, and enables the creation of synergies, efficiencies, partnerships and the ongoing sharing of information, providing a powerful stimulus for the development of companies and the areas in which they are situated. The value of Italian production exceeds € 5.2 billion, 75% of which is destined for export, and represents 65% of European production and 19% of global production. Italian tanneries make products for the fashion industry (42% for footwear, 25% for leather goods and 5% for clothing) and upholstery (furnishings 16% and car interiors 10%), and Italian leather is traditionally recognised as a pro- duct of superior quality all over the world. This leadership position is based on quality, technology, stylistic innovation and production sustainability. Nowadays this sustainability drives development and Italian leadership, fe- aturing as the natural expression of innovative vision geared towards excel- lence and ongoing improvement. 1.1 THE TANNING INDUSTRY IN ITALY ITALIAN PRODUCTION € 5.2 BILLION 65% OF EUROPEAN PRODUCTION 19% OF WORLD PRODUCTION ARZIGNANO (Vicenza in Veneto); SANTA CROCE SULL’ARNO E PONTE A EGOLA (Pisa in Toscana); SOLOFRA (Avellino in Campania); TURBIGO (Milano in Lombardia).
  6. 6. - www.greenlifeproject.eu 6 1.2 THE PRODUCTION PROCESS The tannery production cycle covers an extensive range of manual, mechanical and chemical operations, where innovative production technologies operate alongside craftsmanship. A PROCESS THAT CAN BE SUMMARISED IN THREE MACRO-PHASES 9 4. Concia La concia comprende una serie di lavorazioni successive eseguite in bottale: • decalcinazione per ridurre il rigonfiamento delle pelli eliminando la calce in eccesso e favorendo la penetrazione dei concianti; • macerazione per avere un fiore ben pulito e completare la distensione delle fibre; • pickel per portare le pelli a valori di pH acido in modo da favorire l’azione dei concianti; • concia per rendere imputrescibile la pelle e conferire proprietà fisico-meccaniche attraverso l’impiego di un prodotto conciante. In base al loro aspetto, le pelli vengono suddivise in “wet blue”, colorazione dovuta all’utilizzo di cromo e “wet white” se conciate senza cromo. 5. Operazioni meccaniche di preparazione alla riconcia Le pelli conciate sono di norma sottoposte alle seguenti operazioni di preparazione alla riconcia: • pressatura per ridurre ed uniformare il contenuto d’acqua e distenderle; • spaccatura nel caso non siano già state spaccate in trippa; • rasatura per egualizzare lo spessore delle pelli. 6. Riconcia Le pelli rasate sono pronte per le lavorazioni di riconcia eseguite, anch’esse, su bottale: • riconcia per conferire pienezza e consistenza alle pelli garantendo precise proprietà fisiche; • tintura per donare alle pelli il colore richiesto dal cliente; • ingrasso per conferire alle pelli pienezza e morbidezza a seconda dell’articolo. 13 • spruzzatura consiste nell’applicazione di prodotti quali coloranti, resine, pigmenti, cere e agenti filmanti, al fine di conferire alla pelle particolari effetti estetici e proprietà fisico- meccaniche; • stampa consente di imprimere particolari disegni sulla pelle per mezzo di pressione di alcuni cilindri opportunamente zigrinati; • follonaggio è una operazione di bottalatura a secco che consente di ottenere pelli più morbide e un rigonfiamento del fiore; • stiratura è una operazione meccanica che definisce il grado di lucidità della pelle. Il calore di questa operazione attiva inoltre resine (se utilizzate nelle fasi precedenti) che donano alla pelle una morbidezza ed un tatto irresistibile. 9. Selezione e misurazione Personale qualificato procede alla selezione delle singole pelli prima di passare alla misurazione. La scelta avviene secondo criteri precisi stabiliti con il cliente. La superficie della pelle viene misurata e riportata, grazie ad un’etichetta con codice a barre e ad un timbro, nel lato carne della pelle. FROM RAW TO TANNED HIDES Raw hides from slaughterhouses are placed in liming drums1 where they un- dergo a series of chemical operations to rehydrate them (SOAKING), remove the hair (DEHAIRING) and relax and swell the fibres (LIMING). The limed hi- des are then defleshed to remove the fat and split to even out the thickness. They are then placed in tanning drums and undergo chemical processing, which helps to remove excess lime (DELIMING), clean the hide and stretch the fibres (BATING), and make the hides rot-proof, giving them specific physical/ mechanical properties (TANNING IN THE STRICTEST SENSE). 1 Drums are a characteristic feature of tanneries. They are usually made of wood, positioned horizontally and secured to ball bearings that enable them to rotate. An opening on the drum enables the water and chemical substances required to be poured inside. FROM TANNED TO CRUST HIDES After being shaved to even out their thickness, the hides are put in dyeing drums where processing gives them fullness and consistency (RETANNING), shades of colour (DYEING) and softness (STUFFING). The hides are then dried using specific technologies (VACUUM DRYING, AIR DRYING, FRAME DRYING) and softened using mechanical staking operations. The dried, perched hides are known as crust. FROM CRUST TO FINISHED LEATHER The following finishing operations are now implemented: • BUFFING, which partially removes the grain, obtaining a velvety effect or reducing leather defects; • MILLING, to obtain a soft leather and accurate grain design; • SPRAYING, to give the leather special aesthetics and physical/mechanical properties; • PRINTING, to give the leather specific designs using the pressure of suitably pebbled cylinders. 9 4. Concia La concia comprende una serie di lavorazioni successive eseguite in bottale: • decalcinazione per ridurre il rigonfiamento delle pelli eliminando la calce in eccesso e favorendo la penetrazione dei concianti; • macerazione per avere un fiore ben pulito e completare la distensione delle fibre; • pickel per portare le pelli a valori di pH acido in modo da favorire l’azione dei concianti; • concia per rendere imputrescibile la pelle e conferire proprietà fisico-meccaniche attraverso l’impiego di un prodotto conciante. In base al loro aspetto, le pelli vengono suddivise in “wet blue”, colorazione dovuta all’utilizzo di cromo e “wet white” se conciate senza cromo. 5. Operazioni meccaniche di preparazione alla riconcia Le pelli conciate sono di norma sottoposte alle seguenti operazioni di preparazione alla riconcia: • pressatura per ridurre ed uniformare il contenuto d’acqua e distenderle; • spaccatura nel caso non siano già state spaccate in trippa; • rasatura per egualizzare lo spessore delle pelli. 6. Riconcia Le pelli rasate sono pronte per le lavorazioni di riconcia eseguite, anch’esse, su bottale: • riconcia per conferire pienezza e consistenza alle pelli garantendo precise proprietà fisiche; • tintura per donare alle pelli il colore richiesto dal cliente; • ingrasso per conferire alle pelli pienezza e morbidezza a seconda dell’articolo.
  7. 7. - www.greenlifeproject.eu 7 1.3 ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS OF TANNING PROCESSES Although it still has aspects typical of small-scale business, tannery production has had industrial characteristics for years. The production process requires resources such as water, energy and chemical products, and environmental factors related to the process mainly concern water discharges, waste, and emissions into the atmosphere. By split- ting the tanning process into three macro-phases, it is possible to identify the main environmental aspects. FROM RAW TO TANNED HIDES This phase consumes significant amounts of water which, once used for production purposes, must be purified to re- move the main pollutants such as: COD, suspended solids, chlorides, sulphates, organic nitrogen and chromium III. The water undergoes purification treatment to reduce pollutants to levels that do not represent a risk to the environ- ment. This treatment produces sludge which has been disposed of in landfill sites up until now. FROM TANNED TO CRUST HIDES Waste water from dyeing operations is purified to comply with legal limits. Hide drying operations consume modest amounts of electricity and heating. FROM CRUST TO FINISHED LEATHER Finishing operations, especially spraying products onto the surface, affect the characteristics of emissions into the atmosphere (volatile organic compounds and dust). The emissions are sent to different types of filtering and abate- ment systems to ensure compliance with legal limits. The Acque del Chiampo purification plant in Arzignano
  8. 8. - www.greenlifeproject.eu 8 GreenLIFE stands for “Green Leather Industry For Environment”, a project funded by the European Union within the LIFE programme. The initiative has involved five companies operating in the tanning industry in the Vicenza area - the tanneries DANI and GRUPPO MASTROTTO, IKEM in the chemical industry, ILSA in the farming biotechnologies industry, and ACQUE DEL CHIAMPO, the organisation running the water purification plant. This partnership has led to the companies looking beyond their own gates, with the conviction that adopting a supply chain perspective would enable them to tackle the challenges set by the project more effectively. The project developed over three years (from June 2014 to May 2017), and involved an investment of approximately € 2.3 million, approximately 50% of which was funded by the European Commission. The main project objectives were varied and challenging: • reduce the amount of water used in the liming phase by 20% • decrease the amount of chemicals used in the liming phase by 20% • reduce the amount of sulphide used in the hair removal phase considerably • eliminate chrome from the tanning phase • recover and use 15% of the by-products from the tanning cycle • develop a useful method for assessing the environmental impact of the new technologies in advance. Objectives to be achieved through the following lines of experimentation: • development of new liming processes • formulation of a new tanning agent from renewable resources • formulation of new fertilisers and biostimulants by recovering and treating by-products from the tanning cycle • analysis of environmental scenarios relating to the new liming technologies • new technologies and socio-economic impact Taken together, the lines of research tried to apply the principles of a circular economy i.e. an economy capable of regenerating itself. 2. THE GreenLIFE PROJECT
  9. 9. - www.greenlifeproject.eu 9 3. PROJECT RESULTS 3.1. LESS WATER AND CHEMICALS WITH GREENLIFE LIMING PROCESSES A - Introduction The liming phase has two aims: 1) remove hair 2) relax hide fibres to increase their reactivity and ability to absorb tanning products. This is a phase that uses high amounts of water equivalent to 3.5 - 5 times the weight of the hide. To remove hair from the hides, sulphide/sodium hydrosulphide are used to chemically dissolve the hair. The disa- dvantages of this technology include unpleasant odours outside the tannery and the pollution load to be purified. The lines of research on the liming process gave encouraging results in terms of saving resources and reducing pol- lution. Furthermore, recovering hair and process liquid laid the foundations for capitalising on the by-products of this pha- se in the tanning cycle. The results obtained from the two lines of research with tests that reached an industrial scale are outlined below. B - Conventional liming with recovery of hair and water - Gruppo Mastrotto The process adopted is summarised below. Exhausted liming bath Wastewater Sedimentation and flotation New liming bath Recovered bath Protein fraction Fat fraction Phase 1: recovery of used liquid Used liming liquid is sent to a recovery tank Phase 2: sedimentation and separation The protein fraction of the liquid settles at the bottom of the tank whereas the fat rises to the surface. Phase 3: extracting the separated fractions and recycling the water The protein and fat fractions are extracted from the tank and sent for recovery, whereas the remaining liquid is reused for a new liming process.
  10. 10. - www.greenlifeproject.eu 10 The hair is recovered while the used liming liquid is being recycled. This is achieved thanks to a liquid recycling sy- stem which can be equipped with liming drums. During rotation, the liquid containing water and detached hair which has not dissolved is sent to a filtering system. This enables the hair to be separated from the liquid and collected in a special container while the water goes back into the cycle. The process is described briefly below. The main results of the lines of research can therefore be summarised as follows: 1. Good quality of processed hides was maintained. 2. Approximately 70% of the water and 20% of sodium hydrosulphide used in beamhouse operations recovered. 3. Hair recovery process on an industrial scale. 4. Reduction in pollution level of liming water. With regard to the last point, the analysis showed a significant drop in pollution level. HAIR RECOVERY VS STD TECHNOLOGY -25% -35% -29% -27% Total Total suspended Chem icaloxygen To talorganic nitr ogen (TN) so lids(SS)dem and(COD) car bon(TOC) Pollution load: comparison between conventional technology (Std) and technology with hair recovery (Rec) RelativeUnit 0 100
  11. 11. - www.greenlifeproject.eu 11 C - Oxidative liming with recovery of process water - Dani Oxidative liming is implemented using oxygenated water to replace the sulphide/sodium hydrosulphide. This avoids the production of sulphydric acid in the process water, which is replaced with plain water. Two liming processes are outlined below: Conventional liming: Na2 S (sodium sulphide) /NaHS (sodium hydrosulphide) ➱ H2 S (sulphydric acid) Oxidative liming H2 O2 (oxygenated water) ➱ H2 O (water) Experimentation with the oxidative liming process required the use of a polypropylene drum to replace the usual wooden drums, as over the long term the latter would have been corroded by the oxygenated water. Secondly, these drums had to be equipped with an internal and external cooling circuit to contain the exothermic reactions of the oxygenated water. In this case too, experimentation with the recovery of used water and hair was combined with the new liming process. The process to recover the used liquid is illustrated below. The pilot
  12. 12. - www.greenlifeproject.eu 12 The process made it possible to achieve the following objectives: • water saving of 18% and chemical saving of 15% in the beamhouse operations • reduction in pollution load sent to the purification plant (suspended solids, total nitrogen, COD, TOC) as shown in the table • improvement in work environment in terms of odour reduction • production of finished leather with less odour and product characteristics similar to those achieved with conventional liming • implementation of new hair removal technology on an industrial scale as shown in the photograph below. Industrial scale polypropylene drum
  13. 13. - www.greenlifeproject.eu 13 D - Reduction in environmental impact in the district - Acque del Chiampo Acque del Chiampo is the public organisation responsible for purifying industrial waste water coming from tanneries in the district. The plant receives waste water from approximately 160 tanneries directly linked to the system throu- gh 40 km of dedicated polyethylene sewage pipes. The centralised organisation of the industrial waste water purification cycle has made it possible to carry out an analysis to estimate the potential improvements at a district level as a result of introducing the new liming techno- logies. The study was carried out using the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology. This estimates the environmental impact of a product/service throughout its entire life cycle, from the point at which the raw materials or natural resources are acquired through to the production, consumption and final disposal stages. Therefore the LCA makes it possible to assess the environmental impact of the product/service from the cradle (sup- ply of raw materials) to the grave (product/service end-of-life). The LCA method analyses three areas of activity: • supply of natural or industrial raw materials used by an organisation (Upstream module) • processing of raw materials to make the product or service requested (Core module) • consumption and disposal of the product/service provided (Downstream module) The three areas of activity at Acque del Chiampo are illustrated below. The study estimated the impact of treating 1m3 of waste water with regard to the following categories: • Global warming • Thinning of the ozone layer • Ecotoxicity of fresh water • Marine ecotoxicity • Photochemical oxidation • Acidification • Eutrophication Energy, resources Maintenance materials Waste produced from the sewage system Energy, resources Sulphur produced by LOCAT Transport Discharge of treated water Emissions into the atmosphere, water or soil Stabilised sludgeSewage pipe Maintenance materials Operational phases and treatment/storage/transport of processes relating to waste emissions Production of by-products UPSTREAM MODULE CORE MODULE DOWNSTREAM MODULE Raw material Production Logistics Sale Use End of life
  14. 14. - www.greenlifeproject.eu 14 The results are outlined in the table below: The introduction of the new liming technologies at a district level would enable important benefits to be achieved. In the case of conventional liming with the liquid recycled and sludge recovered there would be: • reduction in sludge produced equivalent to 24% • drop in electricity consumption equivalent to 6% • decrease in methane consumption of 12% • reduction in the use of chemical reactants of 2% The effect of these improvements on the categories of impact analysed is outlined in the table below: In the case of oxidative liming with the liquid recycled and sludge recovered there would be: • reduction in sludge produced equivalent to 21% • drop in electricity consumption equivalent to 10% • decrease in methane consumption of 10% • reduction in the use of chemical reactants of 3% The effect of these improvements on the categories of impact analysed is outlined in the table below: These improvement would be even greater if benefits from hair recovery were taken into account. 1 m3 of waste water treated at the Arzignano plant Upstream Core Downstream Impact category Units of measurement Total Waste water collected Waste water purification and sludge treatment Sludge disposal in landfill Global warming kg CO2 eq 5,59E+0 2,05E-2 3,46E+0 2,11E+0 Thinning of ozone layer kg CFC-11 eq 4,14E-7 3,17E-9 3,90E-7 2,09E-8 Ecotoxicity of fresh water kg 1,4-DB eq 5,85E-1 1,02E-2 4,58E-1 1,17E-1 Marine ecotoxicity kg 1,4-DB eq 1,74E+3 2,48E+1 1,40E+3 3,12E+2 Photochemical oxidation kg C2 H4 eq 7,90E-4 3,82E-6 5,38E-4 2,48E-4 Acidification kg SO2 eq 9,48E-3 9,03E-5 7,94E-3 1,45E-3 Eutrophication kg PO4 3- eq 8,39E-3 4,36E-5 7,70E-3 6,48E-4 LCA treatment of 1 m3 of waste water - assessment of environmental impact Impact category Units of measurement % reduction UPSTREAM with respect to original % reduction CORE withre- spect to original % reduction DOWN- STREAM with respect to original % variation Global warming kg CO2 eq 0,0% -6,3% -22,5% -11,9% Thinning of ozone layer kg CFC-11 eq 0,0% -6,9% -17,9% -7,4% Ecotoxicity of fresh water kg 1,4-DB eq 0,0% -5,6% -17,9% -8,0% Marine ecotoxicity kg 1,4-DB eq 0,0% -6,3% -17,9% -8,3% Photochemical oxidation kg C2 H4 eq 0,0% -6,2% -17,9% -9,8% Acidification kg SO2 eq 0,0% -6,6% -17,9% -8,2% Eutrophication kg PO4 3- eq 0,0% -0,9% -17,9% -2,0% Impact category Units of measurement % reduction UPSTREAM with respect to original % reduction CORE withre- spect to original % reduction DOWN- STREAM with respect to original % variation Global warming kg CO2 eq 0,0% -4,9% -25,4% -12,6% Thinning of ozone layer kg CFC-11 eq 0,0% -5,8% -21,6% -6,6% Ecotoxicity of fresh water kg 1,4-DB eq 0,0% -2,3% -21,6% -6,1% Marine ecotoxicity kg 1,4-DB eq 0,0% -2,6% -21,6% -5,9% Photochemical oxidation kg C2 H4 eq 0,0% -3,9% -21,6% -9,4% Acidification kg SO2 eq 0,0% -3,5% -21,6% -6,2% Eutrophication kg PO4 3- eq 0,0% -0,4% -21,6% -1,8%
  15. 15. - www.greenlifeproject.eu 15 3.2 RECYCLING BY-PRODUCTS FROM TANNING PROCESSES - ILSA The liming process usually involves chemically dissolving the hair, increasing organic pollutants in waste water to be treated and, above all, losing organic protein substances of significant interest for farming. GreenLIFE has been an opportunity to develop techniques to recover and use two important by-products of the liming phase: A) hair B) the organic protein fraction from used liming liquid. A) Hair recovery In particular, using innovative hydrolysis techniques Ilsa developed a fluid protein hydrolysate obtained from pro- cessing the solid hair removed from the drum immediately after it becomes detached from the animal skin. This hair has a high amount of keratin, a valuable protein especially rich in sulphur in relation to a high amount of cysteine, one of its main constituent amino acids. The product obtained overlaps in chemical/physical terms with the keratin hydrolysates on the global market (te- chnical and cosmetics industries), and is also suitable for use in farming as a fertiliser. Experiments reached a yield of 50 kg of protein hydrolyzed every 100 kg of recovered hair. B) Recovery of the organic protein fraction of calcinal baths Simultaneously, a method for thickening the organic/protein fraction contained in conventional (lime/sulphur) and oxidative liming waste water was also tested. Various precipitation techniques were tested on this organic fraction for this purpose, with a preference for the te- chnique based on adding orthophosphoric acid up to pH 5 - 5.5. This precipitation produces a solid protein panel which, once dried, has significant concentrations of organic nitrogen, carbon and phosphorus - nutrients which are essential in fertilisers, and so it emerges as interesting for use as organic fertiliser. The results obtained are really positive: • 25% of recovery of solid material (solid substances dissolved or suspended in water), mainly composed of organic material and minerals for production of valuable solid fertilizer; • a yeld of about 26-30 Kg of fertilizer/m3 of waste water treated was achieved • potential reuse of treated water in the liming step inside tannery Pelleted fertilizer obtained from exhausted baths of oxidative liming Pelleted fertilizer obtained from exhau- sted baths of conventional liming
  16. 16. - www.greenlifeproject.eu 16 After the pre-industrial study aimed at producing these new prototypes, the next step was the second experimen- tal phase i.e. the preliminary assessment of the fertilising properties of the prototypes obtained, using a soil/plant method and adopting multi-disciplinary approaches to assess the effect on soil only and the effect on the plants, without interference from the soil, and the overall effect on the combined soil and plant system. The objectives in each experimental phase were as follows: SOIL In this phase nitrogen mineralisation curves were studied to look at the transfor- mation kinetics of nitrogen in its various forms, ranging from ammoniacal nitro- gen through to nitric nitrogen, a form which is typically metabolised by plants via the root system. PLANT Tests in a climatic chamber with plant models made it possible to verify the re- actions of the plants in the very early stages of life in terms of root and leaf de- velopment and fresh and dried weight. Bioessays were carried out during the tests on different inert substrates, with plant models with a typically short rapid life cycle. SOIL/PLANT Agronomic greenhouse and field tests were implemented, during which the main effects of the tested prototypes on plants with agricultural importance were studied, assessing the main indicators and their possible interaction with pedoclimatic conditions. The results were promising, although final clarification is required by repeating these tests on several farming cycles and species. As well as this, an assessment of the envriromental footprint has to be carried out in order to evaluate medium-long term consequences on the ecosystem.
  17. 17. - www.greenlifeproject.eu 17 3.3 A NEW TANNING AGENT FROM RENEWABLE SOURCES - IKEM The aim of this line of research was to develop a tanning agent that can be defined as renewable - in other words can be produced starting from raw materials that can regenerate in relatively short timescales compared with those of fossil sources used to make current tanning agents. This tanning agent is free from heavy metals to meet emerging market requirements. IKEM chose to use natural polymers called polysaccharides as the basis for making the tan- ning agent. Tanning aldehydes were generated on these complex structures using oxidation reactions, without forming hazardous aldehydes. A feature of this tanning agent is the operating pH: tanning with this polymer finishes at pH 8.5, making it possible therefore to develop a tanning process that omits the pickling process, reducing work timescales and chemical au- xiliaries. The tests carried out at the tanneries made it possible to obtain leather with organoleptic and chemical/physical pro- perties satisfactory for meeting the requirements of different types of items (automotive, furnishings and footwear). On a pilot scale the new process proved to be effective and made it possible to obtain: • tanned hides in a light colour tending towards beige therefore easier to dye • hides that can be processed with standard mechanical operationsandretannedaswiththenormalwetwhiteprocess • hides with increased biodegradability compared with other types of tanning (see graph at side). The technology developed turned out to be promising therefore IKEM progressed from a system that could produce 2-3 kg of tanning agent/day to a semi-industrial setup that could prepare up to 200 kg of product per day. An industrial-scale feasibility study is under way.
  18. 18. - www.greenlifeproject.eu 18 3.4 SOCIO-ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT - UNIVERSITY OF PADUA After the technical activities, the socio-economic impact of the project was analysed, which provided food for thou- ght on setting up future developments of the experimental activities. The analysis involved all stakeholders represented in the project and the network of link industries, putting socio- economic impact into a global perspective. What is commonly known as a Global Va- lue Chain approach was used, whereby a map of all activities contributing to the creation of a produce is viewed. (See graph at side) In terms of benefits two categories were identified: • benefits of competitiveness, that increase the ability of companies to compete and be resilient in their markets or break into new markets; these elements, which cannot be quantified beforehand, emerged as the main drivers of interest in the new technologies expressed by partner managing directors. • benefits of efficiency, that reduce company costs with respect to current practices In terms of costs two types were studied: • investment in systems, that companies have to make to be able to produce effectively with the new technologies on an industrial scale. • management costs, defined as all other direct/indirect costs linked to introducing the new technologies. Costs and benefits in the project value chain are outlined below.
  19. 19. - www.greenlifeproject.eu 19 Social impact of increasing scope was assessed from three perspectives: • company personnel • local community • final consumers. The main results are outlined below. CONCLUSIONS The pleasure of reaching your destination is tinged with the sadness that comes from knowing you’re at the end of the road. During these three years of working together we investigated several important themes in the tanning industry. We exchanged views, sometimes from very different starting positions, and usually found a constructive, never negati- ve, point where we came together. Mutual respect and trust developed, which is fairly natural when you put yourself in someone else’s shoes. This is an important legacy of the greenLIFE project, so it doesn’t become an isolated initiative but is a seed sown towards a structural cooperative approach to environmental issues. We have spoken about our work and the results achieved on numerous occasions, and only garnered appreciation and encouragement. We have been proud to demonstrate the value and professionalism of everyone working at all levels in this structured network that we simply call the ‘leather trade’. We’ll keep on doing it, honing our ability to listen. What appears to be the end of a journey is more simply and accurately a milestone on a journey that will see us co- ming together yet again, to make our contribution to the sustainability of the leather trade. Bye for now.
  20. 20. - www.greenlifeproject.eu 20 ALBERTO SERAFIN Sole Director of Acque del Chiampo “GreenLIFE has contributed to strengthening the relationship between tanning pro- duction and purification capacity - this has to keep abreast with the processing and innovation that takes place in production to ensure sustainable development.” PAOLO GIRELLI Chairman of Ilsa “Farming soil is increasingly lacking in organic matter but technologies exist that make it possible to recover this precious resource, which can become an excellent fertiliser, from the tanning industry. This will contribute to increasing farming yield to tackle food requirements that are growing exponentially. GreenLIFE is the proof that by wor- king together we can achieve significant results in terms of recovering and reusing or- ganic matter.” GIANCARLO DANI Chairman of Dani “GreenLIFE has shown that our area can demonstrate great technical ability and inno- vation, but it has also highlighted the need to learn and communicate so we are known for what we are - a tanning industry par excellence that isn’t sleeping.” SANTO MASTROTTO Chairman of the Mastrotto Group “I’ve always believed in the possibility of recovering the hair and reusing it in other industrial areas, and the experiments developed through GreenLIFE have confirmed this. This is while also being able to rationalise the use of water, a precious resource we have to look after for the future.” EDGARDO STEFANI Chairman of Ikem “Investing in innovation is a must for the development of company prospects, and projects such as GreenLIFE, even though they require significant effort and resources, present an opportunity not to be missed.
  21. 21. - www.greenlifeproject.eu 21 Il Giornale di Vicenza (ITA) Paese: it Pagina: 10 Readership: 212000 Diffusione: 34804 Tipo media: Lokale Presse Autore: n.d. 16 Dicembre 2015 This article is intended for personal and internal information only. Reproduction or distribution is prohibited. Page 1 / 1 Ilsa
  22. 22. - www.greenlifeproject.eu 22
  23. 23. - www.greenlifeproject.eu 23 @greenLIFEproj greenLIFE Project greenLIFE Project greenLIFE Project
  24. 24. 24 ETAs.r.l.-info@etaedizioni.it

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