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Recovery of Energy and Chrome from Leather Waste
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The energy requirements for the leather tanning industry are considerable and depend primarily on nonrenewable fuels such as oil and natural gas. However, some 50 percent, approximately 1.85 x 1012 BTU/year, of the energy needed to support the U.S. tanning industry may be met through an active conservation program. This program would be directed at the recovery of the energy available in the leather waste; the raw and finished tanned leather trimmings and cuttings resulting from tannery operations. At the present time, leather waste is being disposed of in landfills. This represents an environmental problem and a significant loss of potential energy and of valuable chromium compounds that can be utilized in the tanning process. Recovery of energy and chrome compounds can result in a saving of some 25 million dollars per year for the industry. The paper presents a pyrolysis method for handling leather tanning wastes to recover energy and chromium compounds for use in the tanning process. Energy and cost savings are estimated.
Muralidhara, H. S.; Maggin, B. (1979). Recovery of Energy and Chrome from Leather Waste. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu). Available electronically from