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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY PROCESSES AND NEW APPLICATIONS FOR ANIMAL HIDES AND LEATHER

Location: Biobased and Other Animal Co-Products

Title: Effects of bating, pickling and crosslinking treatments on the characteristics of fibrous networks from un-tanned hides

Authors
item Liu, Cheng Kung
item Latona, Nicholas
item Taylor, Maryann
item Latona, Renee

Submitted to: Journal of American Leather Chemists Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 2, 2012
Publication Date: March 1, 2013
Citation: Liu, C., Latona, N.P., Taylor, M.M., Latona, R.J. 2013. Effects of bating, pickling and crosslinking treatments on the characteristics of fibrous networks from un-tanned hides. Journal of American Leather Chemists Association. 108(3):79-85.

Interpretive Summary: Hides are the most valuable byproduct of the meat packing industry. The US is the world’s 3rd largest hide producing country and currently produces approximately 35 million cattle hides annually. Due to fierce competition in global markets, the American leather and hides industry’s survival will depend on the industry adopting more environmentally friendly processes and implementing new technology for producing novel products using either raw hides or recycled tannery waste. One of our efforts to address these challenges is to develop novel products such as green composites and nonwoven filters from hides and tannery waste. Therefore research is needed to investigate the preparation of fibrous materials having adequate mechanical properties and optimal degree of fiber separation from waste hides. This study was devoted to understand the effects of processing steps such as bating, pickling and crosslinking on the morphology and physical properties of the resultant fiber networks from un-tanned hides, which will be the starting material for constructing air filters and fiber reinforced composites. Results showed that glutaraldehyde treatment yielded a highly open structure, in which the fibers are well separated from each other. This could be partially attributed to the action of acids during the pickling step. Such fibrous structures are favorable for constructing fibrous products such as air filters and fiber reinforced green composites. The results of this research could lead to the production of high quality fibrous products such as high efficiency air filters or fiber-reinforced green composites.

Technical Abstract: Globalization of production and markets for raw animal hides and finished leather products has resulted in new challenges to the U.S. hide and leather industries. These challenges include overcoming relatively high U.S. energy and labor costs; meeting environmental imperatives; quantifying, maintaining, and improving current hides and leather product quality; developing new processes and products; and improving utilization of waste. One of our efforts to address these new challenges is to develop new uses and novel biobased products from hides to improve prospective markets and to secure a viable future for the hides and leather industries. We hypothesize collagen fiber networks derived from un-tanned hides can be utilized to prepare high performance green composites and air filters, of which both have a great market potential. Collagen fiber networks were obtained from split hides that have been processed to remove the noncollagenous materials through the hair removal, liming, and bating steps. An earlier study was devoted to understand the effects of a key processing step--dehydration on the resultant fiber networks. This study focused on the understanding the effects of processing steps such as bating, pickling and crosslinking treatments on the morphology and physical properties of the fiber networks derived from un-tanned hides, which will be the starting material for constructing air filters and green composites. Results showed that glutaraldehyde treatment yielded a highly open structure, in which the fibers are well separated from each other. This could be partially attributed to the action of acids during the pickling step. Such fibrous structures are favorable for constructing fibrous products such as air filters and fiber reinforced green composites. The results of this research could lead to the production of high quality fibrous products such as high efficiency air filters or fiber-reinforced green composites.

Last Modified: 11/1/2014
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