Submitted to: Pacifichem Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2005
Publication Date: 12/1/2005
Citation: Marmer, W.N., Brown, E.M., Liu, C., Mozersky, S.M., Taylor, M.M. 2005. Hides to leather: studies on dehairing, proteoglycans, applications of waste proteins, drying, and nondestructive testing of leather. Program No. 370 [CD-ROM]. 2005 Abstract Viewer. Honolulu, Hawaii: International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Hides are the most valuable coproduct from the meatpacking industry. Most hides are converted into leather, though food and industrial grade gelatin, comminuted hide for sausage casings, and collagen-based products for medical applications are also derived from hides. Research at ERRC investigates the total spectrum of processes applied to leather-making: Chemical and enzymatic processes for the dehairing of hides have been developed for abattoir and tannery use. Research has enabled the tracking of the fate of the protein and glycan components of hide proteoglycans to determine their roles in leather quality. Gelatin and collagen hydrolysates, which can be isolated from leather waste, are reapplied to leather as fillers and finishes, using transglutaminase as the crosslinking and grafting agent. Acoustic emission techniques are being developed for nondestructive testing of the mechanical properties of leather. The mathematical modeling of the leather drying process assures optimal physical properties; recent attention has been given to chrome-free leather, since some overseas markets for automotive upholstery leather are now excluding the more common chrome-tanned variety. The quest for a model of the tanning process, chrome or chrome-free, is supported by physical and molecular modeling techniques.