“Leather manufacturing is not a science - it is an art and requires generations of experience. … “

Liquid CO2, a new working fluid for the leather industry

Leather and fur are made from animal skins. A long series of processes, such as conservation, washing, dehairing, degreasing, crosslinking with tanning chemicals, dyeing, fat impregnation, drying and surface treatment is needed to convert raw animal hide to stable leather for use in clothing, car seats, shoes and technical products. Traditionally, water is used for all these tannery processes – often more than 70 liters of water to produce 1 kg of finished leather.

Saves money, time and Chemicals

Liquid CO2 can replace water in almost all process stages in the leather industry. CO2 is an excellent degreasing medium, and the extracted fat can be recovered. CO2 is effective in distributing tanning chemicals such as chromium salts, vegetabilic and synthetic tanning agents within the leather. The same is true for dyestuffs. Some leather types, most often furs, are treated with fat liquors in order to render them softer. CO2 effectively distributes these lubricating fats within the leather micro- and nano-structure. Leather can be treated with silicone or fluorinated polymers in order to make them water-repellant. In summary, liquid CO2 is an excellent working fluid for the leather industry.

Additional applications

CO2 can speed up tannery processes and save money, water and chemicals. Furthermore, the leather produced in CO2 has a finer grain structure because mechanical abrasion in the CO2 reactor is considerably less than in a conventional drum. Leather tanning in liquid CO2 has been invented in the 1990’s by the German tanner Helmut Geihsler and professor Eckhard Weidner. Today, our customers have developed and are developing new processes together with our Technical Center in cooperation with Mr Geihsler.

New areas are drying and conservation of raw skins, degreasing after tanning, new tanning procedures, improving fur appearance, dyeing, upgrading of low quality material, providing water-repellancy and breathability and many more.

What can we do for you?

Please use the contact form, or call us directly to arrange a trial at our Tech Center!

Customer case

Click here to learn more about what LaDoma, one of the largest tanneries in Spain, has to say about SiOx CO2 machines and applications for the leather industry.




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