The ECOFATTING project will consist of different actions for demonstrating that the innovative natural products technique can be applied, mainly at a preindustrial scale. Therefore, this project aims at demonstrating the use of the natural products technique at three levels:
1st. Laboratory level: UNIFI and ICCOMCNR will use laboratory equipment and materials for demonstrating the new natural products defatting process at a laboratory level. Consequently, the results of the laboratory demonstration will be the useful basis for the semi industrial level.
2nd. Semi industrial level: Newport and INESCOP will use semi industrial pilot tanning drums for the demonstration of the new natural products defatting process at a semi industrial scale. Consequently, this will allow for carrying out numerous trials using smaller quantities of leather, water, products and energy than in the case of industrial production. Likewise, the project also considers different training actions aimed at Spanish and Italian tanners, so that they can learn the new natural products defatting technique and operate with the pilot tanning drums available.
3rd. Preindustrial: It is foreseen that, at least two tanneries, Spanish and Italian, will test the production of leather using the natural products defatting technique at an industrial scale. Additionally, dissemination days will take place in the premises of the above mentioned tanneries, aimed at demonstrating the technical and financial feasibility of natural products tannage, as well as the environmental advantages.
In particular, the present project addresses the defatting process and innovates it by substituting the chlorinated with natural, biodegradable products which will improve safety and eco-sustainability, in particular: