High-performance leather chemicals for the Indian market
• Sustainability becomes more important;
• Aquaderm X-Pigments for leather finishing;
• X-Zyme enzyme-based process for the beamhouse stage;
• Wastewater treatment.
Specialty chemicals company LANXESS will be presenting a comprehensive range of products for the manufacture of shoe upper, upholstery and automotive leathers at the India International Leather Fair (IILF) in Chennai, India, from February 1 to 3, 2016. The portfolio comprises a wide range of proven inorganic and synthetic tanning materials, preservatives, fatliquoring agents, dyestuffs, tanning and finishing products. LANXESS will use this opportunity to showcase its latest developments in products and processes with a strong focus on sustainable leather production. This will include the Aquaderm X-Pigments for high-quality leather finishing and the innovative X-Zyme process for the beamhouse stage of leather production.
LANXESS’ Liquid Purification Technologies business unit one of the world’s most important providers of solutions for liquid separation processes is participating in IILF for the first time.
“We would like to offer customers from the leather industry system solutions for the entire process chain. Alongside products for leather production, this also includes the treatment of industrial wastewater,” says Arun Janakiram, head of Regional Sales India in LANXESS’ Leather business unit.
Comprehensive portfolio for leather manufacturers
“Leather production is one of the most important industries in India. Major European shoe manufacturers have their production facilities here,” Arun explains. “Our products and integrated solutions provide more efficiency, sustainability and quality for our customers. This includes best-in-class products, processes, expert advice and on-site technical service worldwide. All this offers leather manufacturers competitive advantages”, Arun says.
Focus on sustainability
Sustainability is not simply a trend. It is becoming more and more important in the leather business. The demand for ecological leather is increasing. Frank Paus, head of Global Sales in LANXESS’ Leather business unit, explains: “We at LANXESS have already focused on environmental needs and developed a number of chemical and technological solutions which have helped improve the environmental footprint of leather.” Within its “Sustainable leather Management” program, LANXESS offers innovative technologies along the entire production chain. “Our aim is to create measurable advantages in the form of reduced emissions, the elimination of health risks and a smaller carbon footprint (PCF product carbon footprint) to conserve energy and protect the climate. Our products and processes enable sustainable leather production without compromising on quality,” Paus sums up.
Water-based pigments for high-quality leather finishing
One example of product innovations with an improved sustainability profile is LANXESS’ new Aquaderm X-Pigments range of water-based pigments for high-quality leather finishing. These pigments have been designed for all kinds of premium leather applications where a very high standard of finishing quality is required, e.g. in the automotive segment. Based on carefully selected raw materials, the pigments provide excellent lightfastness, heat and migration resistance, brilliancy and exact dosing properties. In addition, tanners benefit from reliable product consistency, which is extremely important to ensure consistent color reproducibility.
Another key strength is the improved sustainability profile of the advanced water-based pigment range. The entire product range consists of solvent-free pigment dispersions featuring very fine particles and only a low polymer binder content. Furthermore, all products are casein-free and do not contain any emulsifiers, brightening agents or other additives capable of causing migration.
X-Zyme an innovative process for the beamhouse stage
The innovative X-Zyme process launched by LANXESS is a groundbreaking technology for the beamhouse stage of the leather production process. The new enzyme-based technology was developed in collaboration with Danish biotechnology specialists Novozymes A/S, Bagsværd. “The use of two microbial enzymes in the soaking and liming stages noticeably improves the quality of the pelt, reduces the amount of waste and makes the entire process much more efficient,” explains Marc Hombeck, Global Product Management OLC in LANXESS’ Leather business unit.
The X-Zyme process is fully in line with LANXESS’ “Sustainable Leather Management” initiative. It offers a potentially higher area yield and improved quality of the pelts. Furthermore, compared with conventional processes, it reduces the need for wetting agents (surfactants) and liming chemicals such as lime, sulfur compounds and amines. This leads to more improved wastewater characteristics in terms of sludge, COD, sulfide and nitrogen. In addition, the rapid opening up of the hide in the soak and the reduced amount of alkali ensure high-quality pelts.
Efficient wastewater treatment
With the Lewatit brand of ion exchange resins and the Lewabrane series of reverse osmosis membrane filter elements, LANXESS’ Liquid Purification Technologies business unit supplies two premium technologies that complement each other perfectly. The membrane technology desalinates the water and the exchange resins can selectively remove unwanted ions for fine purification, for example. Kedar Oke, head of Marketing/Sales and Technical, Liquid Purification Technologies, LANXESS India Private Limited, says,“Our products prove themselves everyday all over the world in numerous industries, cleaning and treating water and other liquids. In the leather industry, they are used for wastewater treatment, e.g. reduction of COD (chemical oxygen demand), water hardness, removal of color and chrome.” Removing toxic substances is key to the treatment of industrial wastewater. Environmentally harmful substances can be filtered out by the LANXESS exchange and adsorption materials and thus reliably removed from the water.
Detailed information is available at leather.lanxess.com and lpt.lanxess.com/.
The Leather business unit and the Liquid Purification Technologies business unit are both part of LANXESS’ Performance Chemicals segment, which achieved total sales of EUR 2.2 billion in fiscal 2014.
LANXESS (lanxess.com) is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 8.0 billion in 2014 and about 16,300 employees in 29 countries. The company is currently represented at 52 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals. LANXESS is a member of the leading sustainability indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI World) and FTSE4Good.