Recent years have seen renewed interest in safer leather chemicals like biocides, tanning agents, dyes and pigments due to increased public awareness about the environmental issues, toxicity of synthetic compounds and their intermediates during manufacture and usage, the growing preference for cleaner technologies and the Government legislation on toxic waste disposal etc. This has necessitated processing industries like textile, leather, wool, food and pharmaceutical to look for viable natural or synthetic chemicals that are non-toxic / less toxic compared to the existing ones.
The principle of organic leather manufacture is a commitment to the eco system wherein quality leathers are produced by using nontoxic and less toxic natural products without causing environmental deterioration. To achieve this goal we are working on the development of leather chemicals like tanning agents, preservatives, colorants etc from plant sources as raw materials. Studies are also being carried out to develop safer leather chemicals through novel synthetic routes and methodologies.
Dr S. Thennarasu, Ph.D
Principal Scientist & Head
Organic Chemistry Lab
CLRI, Adyar, Chennai 600 020.