Submitted to: Journal of American Leather Chemists Association
Publication Type: Research notes
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: Interpretive Summary is not required
Technical Abstract: The temporary preservation of cattle hides with the common salt, sodium chloride, referred to as brine curing, results in serious effluent pollution problems for meat packers, hide processors and tanners. Under a memorandum of understanding between the Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Kalium of Canada, Ltd. research was conducted dto determine the effectiveness of potassium chloride (KCl, one form of potash) as a substitute for sodium chloride (NaCl) for the brine curing of cattle hides. The use of KCl for hide curing would permit spent brine to be applied directly to the soil as a fertilizer. This chemical provides potassium, a necessary plant macro nutrient. Over a period of three years, starting with laboratory scale experiments and completing the research with a large scale demonstration of raceway curing of over eighteen hundred hides, it was demonstrated that KCl was technically a viable alternative to NaCl. Only minor differences were detected in commercially manufactured leather produced from KCl-cured hides when compared to NaCl-cured hides. However, at the current time KCl is more expensive than NaCl. Until this cost differential is exceeded by the cost of NaCl disposal, the widespread use of KCl to preserve cattle hides will not be economically viable.