Submitted to: Leather Science and Engineering
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: January 13, 2005
Publication Date: April 28, 2005
Citation: Taylor, M.M., Cabeza, L., Marmer, W.N., Brown, E.M. 2005. Preparation of high molecular weight products by crosslinking protein isolated from the enzymatic processing of chromium-containing collagenous waste i. extraction of gelatin. Leather Science and Engineering. 15(2):3-7. Technical Abstract: Disposal of chromium-containing collagenous waste, generated during the processing of leather, is a problem that is being addressed not only in the United States, but also world-wide. Alternative disposal methods are being sought because of environmental concerns and rising landfill costs. We have developed a process in which this waste can be treated with a variety of enzymes to extract gelatin and a hydrolysate. These recovered protein fractions, practically devoid of chromium, could be used in a wide range of products, including adhesives, cosmetics, films, encapsulating agents, animal feed and fertilizer. A chromium product is also isolated that can be chemically treated and recycled back into the tanning process. Finally, we have shown, by using a computer-assisted process simulation and cost estimation, that a profit could be realized by the tanneries, not only by reducing the need to landfill but also from the return from the sale of the protein products.