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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Biobased and Other Animal Co-products Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #332635

Research Project: Improving the Quality of Animal Hides, Reducing Environmental Impacts of Hide Production, and Developing Value-Added Products from Wool

Location: Biobased and Other Animal Co-products Research

Title: A method for removing adobe-type manure from hides using an oxidizing agent

Author
item Marsico, Ryan - Orise Fellow
item Liu, Cheng Kung - Ck

Submitted to: Journal of American Leather Chemists Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/31/2016
Publication Date: 3/1/2017
Citation: Marsico, R., Liu, C. 2017. A method for removing adobe-type manure from hides using an oxidizing agent. Journal of American Leather Chemists Association. 112(3):88-93.

Interpretive Summary: Hardened, so-called "adobe-type" manure attached to bovine hair is a major source of meat contamination, hide quality deterioration, and devalued leather products. To solve this problem, ARS scientists at Wyndmoor, PA have carried out research to develop cleaning solutions that can rapidly remove adobe-type manure to improve the quality of hides delivered to tanners for leather processing. In previous research, oxidative chemicals such as sodium percarbonate (SPC) have been used as an environmentally friendly alternative to dehair bovine hides in 1-4 hours. In this study, we formulated a cleaning solution consisting of oxidative chemicals such as SPC and sodium hydroxide to weaken and shorten the hair enough to remove the adobe-type manure from the hide in under 30 minutes. Observation showed that our formula weakened the hair after treatment. A decrease in hair diameter, or hair shortening, was also observed with Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) analysis after treatment of the hides with our formula. The mechanical properties of the treated and untreated hide made into leather were statistically the same indicating that the oxidative manure removal formula can help enhance the end product by preventing damage of the hide. This research has demonstrated that an oxidative cleaning formula is a viable option for the environmentally friendly removal of manure. Further tests include removing manure in a shorter time frame that may be achieved through a spraying application.

Technical Abstract: Adobe-type (hardened) manure attached to bovine hair is a major source of meat contamination, hide quality deterioration, and devalued leather products. Therefore, it is important to develop cleaning solutions that can rapidly remove adobe-type manure to improve the quality of hides delivered to tanners for leather processing. Oxidative chemicals such as sodium percarbonate (SPC) have been used as an environmentally friendly alternative to dehair bovine hides in 1-4 hours. In this study, we do not aim to dehair the hide with SPC, but to weaken and shorten the hair enough to remove the adobe-type manure from the hide in under 30 minutes. Our formula substantially removed adobe-type manure in less than 30 min using a combination of SPC and sodium hydroxide (NaOH) as a soaking solution in a tumbling drum. Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy showed the oxidation of cystine disulfide bridges in keratin, the structural protein of hair, indicating that our formula weakened the hair after treatment. A decrease in hair diameter, or hair shortening, was also observed with Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) analysis after treatment of the hides with our formula. Our environmentally friendly formula for oxidatively removing adobe-type manure is a viable option to enhance both meat and hide quality.